FY 2023 Grant Awards

Applicant Name: Alabama State Department of Education
PR Award Number: S184K230003
Funding Amount: $4,565,574.00

The proposed SASI grant project for Alabama aims to bring about transformative changes in 21 high need Local Education Agencies (LEAs) by addressing their unique challenges and significantly improving the quality of education and learning environments for their students. The project offers a range of services to achieve these goals. One key aspect of the project is conducting an expert assessment of school facility conditions in each identified LEA. This assessment will identify critical areas for improvement, leading to enhanced learning environments more conducive to academic success. The project will also guide the seven LEAs unable to issue bonds, helping them navigate this process to secure funding for capital improvements. Additionally, all 21 LEAs will be empowered to explore sustainable funding options for facility enhancements, breaking the cycle of inadequate funding and offering a pathway for long-term improvements. With an average age of 43 years for school facilities in the identified LEAs, many structures may require extensive modernization. The project will enable comprehensive renovations and upgrades, creating safe, modern, and technologically advanced learning environments. These improvements will foster increased community engagement and support, symbolizing a commitment to the well-being of students and instilling pride within the communities served. The project’s focus on facility improvements and training in best practices for maintenance and operations will create a positive atmosphere for both students and educators, resulting in improved learning outcomes. Moreover, the project’s targeted approach to high-need LEAs with significant poverty rates will directly address educational disparities and inequities in underserved communities, leveling the playing field for students in these areas. Overall, the proposed SASI grant project will move the 21 identified high-need LEAs in Alabama. By addressing critical issues such as poor facility conditions, lack of funding for capital improvements, and underrepresentation in local bond issuances, the project will lead to modernized infrastructure, enhanced learning environments, and increased opportunities for academic success. These positive outcomes extend beyond the LEAs themselves, benefiting the broader communities and contributing to a more prosperous educational landscape in Alabama. The project holds significant promise for transforming education and creating a brighter future for students in high-need areas.

Applicant Name: Arizona Department of Administration
PR Award Number: S184K230007
Funding Amount: $4,997,500.00

The goals of the Arizona School Facilities Improvement (ASFI) Project are to build critically needed capacity of the School Facilities Division (SFD – Arizona’s state agency charged with overseeing the capital needs of K-12 school districts), the SEA and LEAs (in particular the state’s high-need LEAs) to navigate complex school facilities needs and processes through developing and providing needed technical assistance, training and supports. Additionally, the project will seek to modernize the state’s capacity to collect and analyze school facilities conditions data, thereby providing more comprehensive information for the agency and state policymakers to engage in data-driven decision making to support LEAs with building renewal, new school construction, and preventative maintenance needs. The primary activities to be accomplished by the project include: Providing targeted technical assistance, training and supports for Arizona’s high-need LEA cohort (50 LEAs, approximately 25% of all school districts); Improving state data and information systems related public school infrastructure, including: Modernizing Arizona’s Building Inventory Database, Develop and implement an enhanced Facilities Conditions Index (FCI), Complete a new initial School Facilities Cost Study; Enhancing and developing on-demand, online resources to improve statewide systems for training and supporting LEA officials; Enhancing internal capacity of School Facilities Division (SFD) and SEA staff to better support LEAs; Ensuring Interagency Collaboration with the SEA; Evaluating State-level public school infrastructure funding systems and update recommendations that would ensure systems provide all students access to a safe, healthy, sustainable, and equitable learning environment in collaboration with Minimum Adequacy Guidelines (MAG) Stakeholder Council, other stakeholders, and education organizations; and, Engaging in Annual and Summative Project Evaluation and ED Data Reporting

Applicant Name: California Department of Education
PR Award Number: S184K230009
Funding Amount: $4,992,083.00

The California Department of Education (CDE) is excited to submit California’s Small School District Assistance Program proposal. The opportunities provided by this project will target small school districts (SSDs) that face key challenges that hamper their ability to provide equitable resources for their high-need students’ academic success. The CDE prioritized 165 initial high-need schools based on three criteria as specified in the application. The direct services provided will allow these SSDs to be better equipped to assess their facilities needs with streamlined approaches, standardized tools developed through this project, and increased awareness of available funding opportunities resulting in greater investments in their facilities.

Applicant Name: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System
PR Award Number: S184K230016
Funding Amount: $4,999,005.00

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Public School System (PSS) requests $4,999,008 over five years through the Supporting America’s School Infrastructure (SASI) Grant Program. The funding will enable three primary objectives: 1.) the creation of a comprehensive 10-year School Facilities Master Plan; 2.) the transition to a cloud-based facilities maintenance management system; and 3.) the establishment of an innovative maintenance training program for district staff. This project, inspired by the indigenous Charmoro term “Minetgot” meaning resilience, aims to encapsulate this very essence of strength and adaptability. Given the district’s present constraints and the limited resources available on the islands, there exists a pressing challenge: effectively assessing and addressing our infrastructure needs to bolster the quality of public school education. Project Mintetgot, in its essence, strives to fulfill this gap. The proposed 10-year School Facilities Master Plan embodies Minetgot, focusing on resilience and long-term sustainability through strategic sub-plans for Capital Improvement, Routine Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, and Deferred Maintenance. The plan aims to reduce emergency repair expenses, extend the lifespan of our facilities, improve energy efficiency, and ensure that our facilities meet modern safety and accessibility standards. The transition to a cloud-based facilities maintenance management system will centralize our data, automate routine operations, enable real-time reporting, and prepare us for a resilient future. Project Minetgot also prioritizes human resources, recognizing the proficiency gap within our Facilities Development & Management Office (FDMO) and school-level support teams. By investing in developing an effective maintenance training program, we aim to enhance the safety and longevity of our facilities and contribute to job satisfaction and reduced staff turnover.

Applicant Name: Oregon Department of Education
PR Award Number: S184K230005
Funding Amount: $4,999,997.00

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is requesting $5 million from Supporting America’s School Infrastructure (SASI) Program to accelerate the Statewide School Facility Assessment (SSFA) Program from a five-year completion timeline to a three-year timeline. The ODE will also prioritize the assessment of high-need Local Education Agencies’ (LEAs’) school facilities to ensure these buildings are assessed first within each region. To achieve this, ODE will: Develop a quantitative method for identifying high-need LEAs. Provide outreach and technical assistance to high-need LEAs. Hire additional staff to facilitate the acceleration of the SSFA Program and provide data quality review and analysis and technical assistance to high-need LEAs.

Applicant Name: Pennsylvania Department of Education
PR Award Number: S184K230013
Funding Amount: $2,644,993.00

The Pennsylvania Department of Education, as the commonwealth’s state education agency, is applying for a Supporting America’s School Infrastructure Grant under Absolute Priority 1: Building Capacity of the SEA. Pennsylvania has been without dedicated school construction and infrastructure reimbursement funding since 2011 and does not employ a dedicated staff person whose primary job is to provide technical assistance regarding infrastructure improvement to the state’s 500 school districts. For this reason, Pennsylvania requests to be considered for all competitive preference points. The Pennsylvania Planning and Construction Workbook (PlanCon) program has historically served as the conduit for Pennsylvania school districts to receive partial reimbursement for construction projects. The program had a dedicated funding source from its inception in the 1950s until 2011. However, since 2012, there has been no dedicated funding for this program and statutory moratoriums imposed in response to a lack of state funding mean the Department has been unable to accept new reimbursement applications via the state PlanCon program since 2017. Without consistent state funding and a legislative mandate to collect the information, the Department’s knowledge of the condition of the more than 3,100 public schools across the commonwealth is woefully incomplete. The Department seeks a total of $2.64 million over five years to establish a team of three staff to support the needs of high-need local education agencies in Pennsylvania and assist those school districts with assessing their infrastructure needs and securing and leveraging resources to provide safe, healthy, sustainable, and equitable learning environments. Through the grant, Pennsylvania will expand the Department’s capacity to proactively assist high-need districts with assessing their infrastructure needs, navigating federal, state, and local systems, and leveraging resources to improve the state’s highest-need public schools as well as have current assessments to inform fiscal and policy decision making statewide.

Applicant Name: Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
PR Award Number: S184K230008
Funding Amount: $4,960,860.00

Students are the everyday occupants of our schools, often spending more time in these spaces than anywhere other than their homes. As school facilities significantly impact student health, academics, and overall well-being, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) – currently lacking maintenance and operations infrastructure – is submitting this application to enhance indoor air quality and facility systems in Local Education Agencies (LEAs) statewide. The focus is the 5 LEAs with the highest needs – Central Falls, Providence, Pawtucket, West Warwick, and Woonsocket – as measured by academic and health outcomes as well as by facility needs. Research confirms that poor indoor air quality in schools can increase absenteeism, asthma rates, and lowers educational outcomes. The Healthy Environments Advance Learning (HEAL) Program will establish necessary staffing, policies, and support for LEAs to enhance indoor environmental conditions. RIDE will hire three full-time professional employees, alongside funding for essential consulting services and direct support for Facility Directors. These efforts seek to reduce chronic absenteeism and enhance educational outcomes, energy efficiency, facility appropriateness, and student health. The overseeing organization is the Rhode Island Department of Education School Building Authority.

Applicant Name: Virginia Department of Education
PR Award Number: S184K230014
Funding Amount: $5,000,000.00

The Virginia Depart of Education (VDOE) will use the funding from the Supporting America’s School Infrastructure Grant Program (SASI) to increase support to Virginia’s high need local education agencies by establishing a central database and dashboard for storage of school facility condition data, guidelines for data to be collected, training for local education agencies staff, tools for self-assessment, and ongoing state level support. Creating a statewide, comprehensive picture of all public school learning facilities will allow the state to support high needs local agencies as they strive to provide environments that are safe, healthy, sustainable, and equitable for all of Virginia’s students. VDOE will create a dashboard for data collection, hire additional professional staff to conduct public school assessments of high need local education agencies, provide training for LEA staff, and generate regular reports on school facility conditions statewide. VDOE will engage private professionals to supplement the services provided by VDOE staff. Using SASI grant funding, a cloud-based Dashboard will be designed that will allow LEAs to input their facility condition data into a permanent building assessment tool. This process will assist in the development of a CIP and prioritizing urgent facility needs to extend the useful life of their school buildings and reducing operational costs. A central data collection resource will provide equal assessment opportunities of all schools across the state and establish a statewide benchmark on the condition of public school facilities. VDOE will develop a competitive application process that will include criteria addressing the needs and economic condition of localities. Local education agencies will be scored based on their responses. Priority for school conditions assessments will be given to schools divisions with the highest needs based on their scores.