Districts are eligible to apply for the grants, which will provide nearly $400 million to support local reform efforts, if they meet the 2,000 student threshold and implement teacher, principal, and superintendent evaluations by the 2014-2015 school year. Beginning in December, ED expects to award 15 to 25 district grants ranging from $5 million to $40 million. Preference will be offered to applicants that form partnerships with public and private organizations.
The competition will be based on a 200-point grading scale with the following categories:
- Personalized learning components (40 points)
- Vision for reform (4o points)
- Prior academic track record and district transparency (45 points)
- Continuous improvement (30 points)
- District policy and infrastructure (25 points)
- Budget and sustainability (20 points)Applications are due October 30th.
The finalized application does not include some items proposed earlier this year, such as performance evaluations of school board members, and includes a maximum grant award of $40 million rather than $25 million as written in the initial proposal.