(U.S. Department of Education Press Release, December 12, 2021)
Today, the U.S. Department of Education released the 2022 application for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program, underscoring the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to ensuring parents and families play a critical role in informing and supporting their children’s education and academic success. The program will award $5 million in grants that will provide financial support to organizations that offer technical assistance and training to state educational agencies and school districts in the implementation of effective family engagement policies, programs, and activities that lead to improvements in student development and academic achievement. As students continue to recover from the pandemic, it is critical that states and districts work in partnership with parents and families to help address the impacts the pandemic has had on children across the country, and that their experiences can help inform how our schools address academic recovery and students’ needs. As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader commitment to ensure parents and families can help inform their children’s education, the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund requires states and school districts to conduct robust stakeholder engagement around how ESSER funds should be spent – and parents can and should participate in that process.
“Parents’ voices are critical to the success of our education system. They are our children’s first, and most influential teachers,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Our commitment to parent and family engagement and collaboration has been embedded in our work at the U.S. Department of Education since Day One of the Biden-Harris Administration. In fact, meaningful parent engagement in schools has never been more important than now as we work together to support our learners during a pandemic. I’m heartened that these new grants will help support the vital role that parents and families play in nurturing our students’ academic success, mental health needs, and developing critical life skills.”
Statewide organizations or consortia in partnership with at least one State Education Agency, are invited to apply for funds to establish Statewide Family Engagement Centers that (1) carry out parent education and family engagement in education programs, and (2) provide comprehensive training and technical assistance to states, districts, and schools identified by states and districts, organizations that support family-school partnerships, and other such programs.
The Department will provide up to $5 million for an estimated 5-7 new grants with an estimated first-year grant award of $500,000 to $1 million per grantee. Grantees will receive annual grant funds over a period of five years.
Applications for the second round of funding will be due on February 17, 2022. Winners will be selected, and awards will be made by September 2022. Officials from the Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education will conduct several webinars for potential applicants. All webinars require participants to register in advance. Registration and additional information about the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program will be available at https://oese.ed.gov/offices/office-of-discretionary-grants-support-services/school-choice-improvement-programs/statewide-family-engagement-centers-program/.