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Applications Soon Available for Straight A Fund

Release date: 9/11/2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A newly appointed governing board today approved the application process for schools and education consortia to apply for grants from the Straight A Fund, a $250 million program that promotes innovative local ideas and programs to help transform and modernize Ohio’s education system.

Straight A Fund grants will provide seed money for the most creative and forward-thinking ideas coming from educators and their partners in the public and private sectors. The fund will allow local educators to pursue three goals:

  • Significant advancement in raising student achievement;
  • Significant advancement in reducing spending; and
  • Significant advancement in targeting more resources to the classroom.

“The Straight A Fund governing board will pay special attention to proposals that promote sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness and involve innovative new ways of teaching and learning,” said newly elected governing board chair Alex Fischer, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership.

“Sometimes in Columbus and Washington, we make prescriptions for what local schools and teachers should do to achieve success, when really we should be focusing on student outcomes and empowering schools to do what they need to do to get those outcomes,” said Dr. Richard A. Ross, superintendent of public instruction. “The Straight A Fund does that.”

The Straight A Fund also will promote lasting value by requiring that innovations be sustainable, so student achievement and operational effectiveness can continue well after the grant money is used.

“We believe that many educators and administrators are eager for transformation and have the innovative spirit needed to improve student achievement and increase school and district operational efficiencies,” said Ross. “We are encouraging these local educators to propose ideas they can lead – or be part of – that will help our schools be more creative, effective and efficient.“

Ohio’s biennial education budget dedicated $100 million in fiscal year 2014 and $150 million in fiscal year 2015 to provide grants to districts, schools, educational service centers, community schools, STEM schools, college-preparatory boarding schools, education consortia (representing a partnership among city, local, exempted village districts, school buildings, community schools, or STEM schools), institutions of higher education and private entities partnering with one or more of the entities listed above.

Documents outlining the application and distribution process that were approved by the governing board today will be available to view and download from the Ohio Department of Education website beginning Friday, Sept. 13.

Grants will be awarded by the nine-member governing board that consists of the state

superintendent of public instruction, four members appointed by the governor, two members appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives and two members appointed by the president of the Senate.

Current members include: State Superintendent Richard A. Ross; Representative Gerald Stebelton, Ohio House of Representatives; Colleen Grady, education policy advisor at the Ohio House of Representatives; Alex Fischer, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership; Kristina Phillips-Schwartz, director of education initiatives at the Cincinnati Business Committee; and Superintendent John Scheu, Sidney City School District.

The board decided today to select experts from around Ohio and the nation to score the grant applications before they are evaluated by grant advisors. The board will select grant advisors with fiscal and/or education expertise to evaluate grant proposals and make recommendations to the governing board.

 

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