E. Budget and Sustainability

The extent to which—

  1. The applicant's budget, which includes all funds that will support the project (e.g., Race to the Top grant; external foundation support; local, State, and other Federal funds; or other support )—
    1. Is reasonable and sufficient to support the development and implementation of the applicant's proposal; and
    2. Clearly provides a thoughtful investment and prioritization rationale, including a description of all of the funds (e.g., Race to the Top grant; external foundation support; local, State, and other Federal funds; or other support) that the applicant will use to support the implementation of the proposal, including total revenue from these sources and identification of which funds will be used for one-time investments versus ongoing operational costs that will be needed during and after the grant period, as described in the proposed budget and budget narrative;
  2. The applicant will take specific steps to evaluate the effectiveness of Race to the Top District funded investments, such as professional development, technology, and staff and more productively use time, staff, money, or other resources in order to improve results, through such strategies such as improved use of technology, working with community partners, compensation reform, and modification of school schedules and structures (e.g., service delivery, leadership teams and decision-making structures); and
  3. The applicant has a high-quality plan for sustainability of the project's goals after the term of the grant, including a 3-year post-grant budget (including budget assumptions, potential sources, and uses of funds).

Comments

As noted in an earlier comment section, as a prospective applicant from a consortium of rural LEAs in a state with limited broadband access, I am concerned our grant application may need to earmark funds for infrastructure upgrades and hardware that might not be required in LEAs where robust internet access is readily available. This could limit the funds available for the technology-based tools and supports for teachers and students. LEAs who do not have wireless systems in their schools and lack access to broadband have not been able to integrate technology in their classes because it cannot be used to the same effect as it could be in LEAs with a sound infra-structure. Please indicate how LEAs should address this "digital divide" issue in the application process.

It will be difficult to make the parent involvement piece a mandatory component. Although it is an essential part of success of students from cradle to grave, there is very limited research around district being able to compel parents to participate in programming. This grant should be about changing the way district look at themselves.

#2 should not be an option when it comes to working with community partners and parents. This should be manadatory

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