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Ohio Controlling Board Approves Recommended Straight A Fund Grants to Foster Innovation

Release date: 12/16/2013

COLUMBUS –– The Ohio Controlling Board approved 24 grant applications involving more than 150 school districts and other partners that were recommended as part of Ohio’s new Straight A Fund to encourage innovation in classrooms.                                         

The $250 million Straight A Fund was created in the new state budget signed this summer by Gov. John R. Kasich. In all, 420 organizations submitted 570 applications to be considered for funds to improve achievement and increase efficiency. The Straight A Fund is part of a $1.6 billion increase in state funding for education over the next two years.

The grants include broad-based plans to increase student access to high-tech manufacturing skills, expand postsecondary class offerings in Appalachia and expand the use of digital technology in classrooms.

“I am extremely proud of our 24 inaugural Straight A Fund winners and the more than 150 entities that partnered on these proposals,” said Dr. Richard A. Ross, superintendent of public instruction. “This is a tremendous achievement. These winners rose to the top of a competitive field of applicants seeking $868 million. There was tremendous competition to receive a Straight A grant.”

The approved applications, recommended by the Straight A Fund Governing Board, represent more than 150 individual partner entities that will together share $88.6 million in funding. A list of applicants recommended for a Straight A Fund Grant can be viewed here.

“This first round of Straight A Fund grant opportunities and the others we’ll award next year can be the catalyst for change to help improve our schools,” Ross added. “What’s more, each award-winning project can be a model for other districts to follow. We can spread these fresh ideas to school districts all around the state.”

Of the $100 million awarded this year, legislators earmarked $11.4 million (HB 59) for projects including Kids Unlimited of Toledo for quality after-school tutoring and mentoring; for Cleveland Municipal School District for the implementation of the Cleveland Plan; and for qualifying districts to improve the efficiency of pupil transportation. 

The Straight A Fund Governing Board is comprised of nine members, including 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: Alex Fischer, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, who serves as chair of the Governing Board; State Superintendent Richard A. Ross; Representative Gerald Stebelton, Ohio House of Representatives; Representative Andrew Brenner, Ohio House of Representatives; Senator Peggy Lehner, Ohio Senate; Kristina Phillips-Schwartz, director of education initiatives at the Cincinnati Business Committee; and Superintendent John Scheu, Sidney City School District.

Information about the Straight A Fund can be viewed here.

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