Maryland Leads is a new grant initiative designed to support Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in utilizing federal funds to overcome the learning loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerate student learning to narrow opportunity and achievement gaps, and provide more targeted support for historically underserved students and their communities. Maryland Leads also supports LEAs in addressing short and long-term challenges related to the current labor shortage and attends to the longstanding need to establish and strengthen teacher pipelines and development.
Maryland’s 24 LEAs will access the state’s allotment of $133 million in ESSER funds through a single, non-competitive grant process. MSDE will provide LEAs with a series of information sessions and workshops beginning in February 2022 and continuing throughout the Spring to support LEAs through the grant submission process. Awards will be announced in Spring 2022 with implementation beginning in Summer 2022 and continuing through the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. The grant initiative is centered around seven high-leverage strategies that have been proven to be effective and transformative for schools and school systems.
Each strategy contains a number of focus areas and best practices from the field that LEAs may choose to implement. The LEAs’ choices will depend on the individual needs of their students, schools, and communities. LEAs will have the opportunity to work with best-in-class partners to strategize and execute plans within and across all seven strategies. To participate in this grant opportunity, LEAs must choose at least two of the seven strategies. Choosing The Science of Reading or Grow Your Own Staff will allow LEAs to access a greater amount of grant funding.
The Maryland State Department of Education is issuing program guidance and applications to identify and select a series of vendors that will work with one or more than one of the state’s twenty-four Local Education Agencies (LEAs) as part of the MSDE’s new Maryland Leads program and one (or more) of the program’s seven, high-leverage strategies. The Maryland Leads Partner Program is open to any and all applicants that can, either directly or through its subcontractor(s), provide all goods and services and meet all of the requirements `related to the Maryland Leads strategy(ies) and focus area(s) to which the Applicant responds.
Award amounts will vary based on the number, type, and scope of strategy(ies) and the number, type, and scope of a given strategy’s focus areas for which an applicant receives an award, as well as the number of Local Education Agencies (LEAs) who select that vendor for their Maryland Leads program. Applicants can respond to one, some, or all of the strategies and/or one, some, or all of a strategy’s focus areas. Grant award for program participation does not ensure an applicant will receive all or any grant funding since final award amounts are related to LEA program partner choice and LEA Maryland Lead program(s) selection.
LEAs will have the opportunity to work with best-in-class partners to strategize and execute plans within and across all seven strategies. To participate in the grant opportunity, LEAs must choose at least two of the seven strategies. The different strategies will have different partners available from which to choose. Some partners may be available to support LEAs in all of the focus areas for a particular strategy, while others may only support the execution of some areas. For example, Partner A may offer to support an LEA in developing a strategic staffing plan while Partner B offers to support the LEA in developing a marketing and recruiting campaign for prospective employees. Meanwhile, Partner C may offer to support the LEA in doing both. LEAs will choose from available partners within their awarded strategies after completing the grant submission process.
The application window opened on March 4th, 2022 and applications were due no later than 5pm on April 5, 2022 to guarantee consideration.
Justin DayhoffAssistant State Superintendent, Financial Planning, Operations, and Strategy
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