ED Invites Grant Applications

by Rachel Zinn
March 12, 2015

For the first time in three years, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) will award new grants in 2015 to support state longitudinal data systems.

ED today invited state education agencies to apply for $27 million in grant funds. Applications are due June 10, and each winning state will receive between $1 million and $7 million over four years. 

These grants will help states enhance and utilize the data systems they have been developing over the past decade. States may use funds for up to two of the following priorities:

• Assessing how school resources influence student outcomes
• Enriching preparation and professional development for educators
• Understanding the characteristics and quality of early learning programs
• Improving students’ success in college and careers
• Enabling research and evaluation that can improve student outcomes
• Facilitating educators’ use of data for instruction

ED provides several examples of activities to support college and career success that align with effective practices promoted by WDQC. States can create feedback reports for institutions or scorecards for students/workers that show information on post-graduation outcomes, including employment and earnings. In addition, states may compare the supply of postsecondary students with the labor market demand for skilled workers.

The grant announcement also highlights the need for interagency collaboration and strong data governance structures.

Since 2005, ED has awarded over $600 million of state data system grants to 47 states. These grants are complemented by funding from the U.S. Department of Labor to support states’ workforce longitudinal data systems. The workforce data grants are much smaller; there will be only $4 million available this year.