Launched in 2018, Education Leads Home (ELH) is a national campaign focused on improving education and life outcomes for children and youth experiencing homelessness.
ELH is excited to announce the State Partnerships on Student Homelessness Project to support the planning and implementation of state-specific strategies that leverage best practices to support access to and success in early care and education for children and youth experiencing homelessness.
The Project will award grants and provide technical assistance to the Governors and Chief State School Officers (CCSOs) in up to nine grantee states to develop and implement state-level activities that will result in measurable progress in one or more of the following areas:
1) Reaching equitable participation in quality early childhood programs for young children experiencing homelessness
2) Increasing high school graduation rates for students experiencing homelessness.
3) Increasing postsecondary attainment of young people experiencing homelessness.
4) Increasing collaboration between schools, housing, and community-based organizations.
The activities that Governors or CSSOs may initiate to advance their articulated goal(s) will depend on their priorities, the state’s unique demographics, and the quality of its inter-agency relationships in the early care, education, housing, and community-based organizational sectors. ELH partners are eager to work in partnership with state leaders to provide direct technical assistance to shape and support effective actions on education and child and youth homelessness.
DEADLINE EXTENSION: We have extended the deadline for proposal submissions to November 16, 2018, 9:00 pm EST. If you have already submitted an application, please feel free to submit an amended application if you so choose. We will announce the grant recipients during the week of December 3, 2018.
Selection Announcement: November 26, 2018
Funding Available: Up to $20,000 in grant funds and services
Period of Performance: December 2018 – December 2019
Eligibility: Any Governor or Chief State School Officer (CSSO) is eligible to apply. The Governor must sign all proposals to indicate approval of participation and project proposal
Education Leads Home (ELH) Contact for Information and Proposal Submission: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Can a nonprofit serve as the fiscal agent for the grant?
A: Yes, a nonprofit can serve as the fiscal agent, if the Governor submits a letter in support of the project and the proposal specifies the role of the Governor and/or CSSO. The proposal must explain not only that the Governor supports the nonprofit’s work, but must also indicate how the Governor and/or CSSO will provide leadership for the project and how he/she will be actively engaged in promoting the state plan.
Q: Can a nonprofit be the sole grantee?
A: No, a nonprofit cannot be the sole grantee. One of the primary purposes of the project is to encourage and facilitate engagement of state leadership in supporting students experiencing homelessness. If the Governor or CSSO is not providing leadership for the execution of the project, this goal is not realized.
Q: Our state will be experiencing a gubernatorial transition and/or change in CSSO in the next few months. Can we still apply for a grant?
A: It depends. The RFP specifies that, if there is to be a transition in state leadership, the proposal must provide a detailed transition plan. Unless the current governor/CSSO can commit that her/his replacement will follow the plan outlined in the proposal, it will be difficult for the selection committee to adequately evaluate the proposal and ascribe it a high enough score to obtain funding.
Q: The RFP identifies three key roles: team leader, primary contact, and fiduciary agent. Can any of these roles overlap, or do you envision that a distinct person/entity will be identified for each?
A: The team leader, primary contact, and fiduciary agent roles may indeed overlap, and need not be fulfilled by the Governor’s office. However, the project awards grants and provides technical assistance to the Governors and CSSOs in up to nine grantee states to develop and implement state-level activities that will result in measurable progress toward ELH goals. Therefore, the Governor’s office and/or CSSO must be actively involved in the design and implementation of the state’s plan.
Please note that the following are required regardless of how roles are assigned: (1) a cover letter from the Governor or CSSO (if the letter is from the CSSO, it must include a signature of support or separate letter of support from the Governor) identifying the team leader and the primary contact person; and (2) a letter of support from the fiscal agent for the grant, if the fiscal agent is not the Governor’s or CSSO’s office.
Q: If the Governor/CSSO were to designate a state agency as the fiscal agent, would the ELH grant be executed with the Governor/CSSO or with the state agency? I am trying to understand more clearly the role of the fiscal agent and to what entity its contractual agreement is associated: directly with ELH as the grantor or with the Governor/CSSO as the grantee?
A: If the Governor or CSSO were to designate the state agency as the fiscal agent, SchoolHouse Connection, as ELH’s fiscal agent, would enter into a grant agreement with the state agency (who would be acting on behalf of the Governor’s office). However, the proposal must clearly specify the role of the Governor and/or CSSO in designing and implementing the state’s plan.
Q: Can the Project proposal focus on only one of the four goal areas, or is it necessary to integrate all four goal areas into the proposal?
A: State proposals may certainly focus on only one issue area ((1) reaching equitable participation in quality early childhood programs for young children experiencing homelessness; (2) increasing high school graduation rates for students experiencing homelessness; (3) increasing postsecondary attainment of young people experiencing homelessness; and/or (4) increasing collaboration between schools, housing, and community-based organizations).
Q: Can the grant be used to support a project that is currently underway, or to support a specific element of an existing project? For example, can we use the grant funds to provide training to replicate a program across the state?
A: Yes, grant funds may be used to support improvement or growth of existing state projects.
Q: I am a member of a Governor-sponsored committee, participation in which requires a major vetting process. May the chief chairperson of this Governor-sponsored committee provide the letter of support for the proposal?
A: No. While the cover letter for the proposal may be submitted by either the CSSO’s or Governor’s office, a cover letter from the CSSO’s office must be accompanied by a signature or letter of support from the Governor. One of the primary purposes of the project is to encourage and facilitate engagement of state leadership in supporting students experiencing homelessness. If the Governor or CSSO is not providing leadership for the execution of the project, this goal is not realized.
Q: Is it possible to use grant funds for direct services and other programmatic activities, such as those associated with education-housing partnerships?
A: Yes. Given the goals of Education Leads Home (ELH) and the Project, however, we strongly encourage applicants to establish educational goals–aligned with one or more of the ELH goals–that complement the provision of direct services. We have some examples of school-housing partnerships that may assist applicants here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tv6p8q72enyb2mx/AAAYxwZNU2LccJV2rQAg_QBYa?dl=0
If applicants are struggling with defining specific educational goals to complement their direct services, our team would be able to provide technical assistance should the applicant be awarded the grant. However, we ask that proposals indicate that direct services will be connected to educational goals that are aligned with one or more of ELH’s goals, and that the proposal explains why the applicant feels the direct services will be successful in supporting those goals.