US ED COVID-19 grant invitation

The US Department of Education invited local education agencies to apply for grants that “improve student safety and well being” by employing strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools. I don’t know whether a focus on students with disabilities would provide a competitive advantage, but I surely hope that LEAs that apply will design strategies so that students with disabilities—gotta be an especially vulnerable population—are included (Hey, it’s an example of “inclusion” being an appropriate term!).

This is the link to the official Federal Register announcement from 20 September 2021. According to the announcement, “The Project SAFE grant program is intended to improve students’ safety and well-being by providing resources to local educational agencies (LEAs) that adopt and implement strategies to prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and that are financially penalized for doing so by their State educational agency (SEA) or other State entity.” The deadline for submitting proposals will be open as long as there are funds available for projects.

Project SAFE is expressly focused on LEAs in states that “have taken steps that restrict an LEA's implementation of local health and safety policies aligned with CDC guidance, including the withholding of critical resources needed to support their implementation.” If your LEA is in a state with such restrictions, you’ll know it.

Grants will only be made to applications that meet this requirement: “Supporting LEAs' and local education leaders' efforts to improve student safety and well-being in LEAs that have been financially penalized by their SEA or other State entity for adopting and implementing strategies consistent with CDC guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Please read the Federal Register documentation carefully.