Educational Technology Grant Information

  • The Educational Technology Grant is a competitive grant program, through which selected schools make investments in instructional technology resources, and the District matches their investments by providing them with devices. The purposes of this grant are to: 1) encourage innovative uses of instructional technology; 2) promote collaboration between schools around the use of instructional technology; and 3) invest in schools that have not yet received devices from the District.

    Investments and Devices that Qualify


    Schools must make investments in instructional technology in order to receive matching devices from the District. These investments can be anything that compliments the use of the matching devices and promotes student learning. A few potential examples include supplemental instructional content, a learning management system, instructional technology support staff, and/or additional devices, although there are many other creative possibilities.

    Donations from community partners can qualify as school investments, if schools secure those investments as part of this matching grant program. For example, if a school fosters a partnership with a business, and the business commits to donating devices to the school, the school can list those donations as its investment, and request matching amounts of devices from the District.

    The District will only match future investments. In other words, schools will not receive matching devices from the District for investments they have already made or for donations they have already received. Proposed investments can be part of a school’s 2015-16 expenditures if the budget allows; if funds are not available this year, expenditures can be planned as part of schools’ 2016-17 budget.

    The matching resources that are requested from the District must be fundable with bond dollars. This includes laptops, desktops, tablets, web-browsing devices, keyboards, and carts, among others. Additionally, schools may only request resources for which the District has existing contracts. To learn which resources are under contract, schools can visit lausd.systemcustomizer.com/mainmenu or www.apple.com/us_edu_78279/shop.
     
    Questions about whether a device is bond-fundable and/or is under contract with the District can be directed to richard.alvarez@lausd.net or to the Comments and Questions page on the Educational Technology Grant website. If a requested device is no longer available under contract at the time of procurement, we will work with the selected school to identify a comparable alternative.
     
     
    Please see below just a few potential examples of the types of investments a school can propose to make and matching resources it can request.
     
     
    Investment by School   District’s Matching Grant
    $20k in Professional Development   =  $20k in Laptops
    $10k Professional Development + 10k Software   = $20k in Tablets
    $10k to fund a position + $5k for software + $5k for PD  = $20k in Carts
    $10k in School Site Funds +$10K in Community Partner Funds  = $20k in Other Devices

     

    Application Procedure


    Schools must submit an application in order to be considered for a matching grant. On the application, schools describe their innovative plans for expanding instructional technology, including the investments they will make and the resources they request from the District. They also detail their full funding strategy. They describe how their plan will have a measurable impact on student learning. And, if applicable, they explain how they are partnering with other schools; such partnerships are not required in order to submit an application, but they are highly encouraged. (See detailed instructions on how to answer each question on the application).

    The submission window for these applications opens on Monday, November 16, 2015 and closes on Friday, January 8, 2015, as shown in the timeline below.
     
    • Submission Window: Monday, Nov. 16, 2015 – Friday, Jan. 8, 2016.
    • Proposals Selected by Local District and Central staff: Jan. 22, 2016.
    • Procurement process begins: Second Semester 2015-16.

    Criteria for Selection


    Applicants will be scored on a 27-point rubric. They will be evaluated on their plan and funding model, their plan’s likely measurable impact on student learning, and their partnership with other schools. Schools are not required to form partnerships in order to submit an application, but doing so is highly encouraged (see below for further details about this).

    The District anticipates that it might not be able to fund every proposal it receives. There is currently $6.2 million available for this matching grant program, which comes from a settlement agreement with Pearson. The evaluators will significantly rely upon the rubric to determine which proposals to award. However, the evaluators will also strive to distribute devices equitably across LAUSD, including to schools that have received fewer instructional technology resources from the District.
     

     

     

    Partnerships with Other Schools


    Schools are encouraged to apply in partnership with other schools for this grant. Partnership should create a unified vision for instructional technology between the schools, in order to magnify student learning beyond what could achieved if the schools applied separately. As just one example, a few schools might apply to purchase the same learning management system and to receive the same types of devices from the District, and staff at those schools could meet regularly to discuss best practices around using that system with those devices to maximize learning. There are many creative possibilities.

    Schools will not be rewarded for applying as partners if the partnership itself does not magnify student learning. For example, if two schools claim to be applying as partners, but the only connection between them is that they happen to be requesting the same types of devices from the District, they will not receive the benefits of applying as partners.

    There are two benefits to applying as partners. First, as shown on the rubric, schools that apply in partnership receive higher scores. In order to receive a score of “Exemplary” for their collaboration, schools must form a strategic partnership that helps retain students in the District and/or benefits schools with fewer instructional technology resources. (Examples of schools with fewer technology resources include some primary centers and continuation schools). In other words, higher scores will be awarded to collaborating schools if they are part of the same feeder pattern and/or if some of the schools lack technological resources—as long as the partnership creates a unified vision for instructional technology between the schools to magnify student learning.

     
     
    Second, schools that apply in partnership can receive a ratio higher than $1-to-$1 in matching grant funds. For example, if a few schools develop a joint proposal to invest in instructional technology, and if the collaboration will magnify student learning, the District may provide a higher matching ratio, such as $2 of equipment for every $1 invested by schools.


    If schools apply in partnership, each school must still submit an application.

    Matching Cap


    To prevent funds from depleting too quickly, a matching cap will be set in the amount of $200 for every student enrolled in the school(s) submitting the proposals, based on Norm Day counts. For example, if a school with 1,000 students submits a proposal that is accepted, the District will match every dollar they invest, up to $200,000.

    Schools that submit collaborative proposals will have the same cap, but will benefit from the higher ratio. For example, if two schools with a combined enrollment of 1,000 students submit a joint proposal that is accepted, there will still be a cap of $200,000. However, those schools will only need to invest $100,000 to receive $200,000 in equipment from the District. If they invest more than $100,000, the District will still provide $200,000 in equipment.