County Council Allocates Funding for Collaborative Projects to Close Achievement Gap

September 27, 2000
The Montgomery County Council has allocated $250,000 for local community initiatives that will provide a network of projects designed to close the achievement gap between African American and Hispanic students and their white and Asian peers and to promote innovative solutions to the challenge of improving student literacy.

These grants are intended to mobilize students, school-based staff, parents, and business and community groups at the school level to develop appropriate strategies for change.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will coordinate with county agencies and other funding sources to assure that resources are used to their maximum potential and that programs are not receiving duplicate funding or providing redundant services. Successful projects measured rigorously against clear standards will be emulated throughout the school system, and unsuccessful projects will be discontinued.

Applications must be a collaborative partnership between schools and community-based organizations and will be accepted for projects that benefit students at an individual school or for projects serving students attending several schools.

Applications are due Wednesday, November 1, by 5 p.m. to Patricia N. Marks, MCPS grants specialist. They will undergo a three-step review process, and applicants will be notified of decisions in mid-December. Funds will be released to the community organizations by January 1, 2001.

Grants will range from $5,000 to $50,000, with the expected average of $15,000. In addition to the grant award, successful applicants will be awarded an additional 10 percent to conduct ongoing project evaluations. In awarding grants, consideration will be given to the probable impact of the project, including the number of students served and the extent of collaborative relationships involved in designing and implementing the project. Funding will begin January 1, 2001.

Applications may be faxed to 301-379-3045; e-mailed to or mailed to Montgomery County Public Schools, Carver Education Services Center, Room 247, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, MD 20850. For an application form, contact Marks via e-mail or call 301-279-3890.

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