ED Awards 2015 Data System Grants

by Jenna Leventoff
September 21, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has awarded approximately $108 million of State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) grants, to fund projects that will use already linked data to inform policy in one of six priority areas. The 16 states who received awards are American Samoa, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The six priority areas are: (1) understanding the relationship between student outcomes and resource allocation; (2) preparing educators; (3) understanding the relationship between early learning and subsequent outcomes; (4) assessing college and career readiness in order to improve postsecondary and workforce outcomes; (5) conducting research and evaluations to improve education outcomes; and (6) enabling educators to quickly and easily access information from longitudinal databases. Grantees may use funds to support work in up to two of the six priority areas.

The average grant award per state for FY 2015 was $6.5 million. Grantees will receive the remainder of awarded funds over the course of four years through continuation grants.

Previous SLDS grants have been used to develop longitudinal database infrastructure and improve data linkages.

States can supplement SLDS grants with Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grants, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor. Both programs emphasize the importance of data for decision making and provide funds to create, expand, or utilize longitudinal data systems.