Mentor Schools has just been awarded the largest grant in our district’s history. Last Friday, the Ohio Department of Education announced our consortium grant proposal, in conjunction with Kirtland Schools, will be fully funded, receiving nearly $14 Million as part of the state’s Straight A Fund program. The financial split for the two districts is $12.1 Million for Mentor and $1.7 Million for Kirtland.
The Straight A Fund is a $250 Million innovative grant project that was created by Governor Kasich in the summer of 2013 in an effort to help our state’s educational system implement necessary change in classrooms. This program was set up to take applications from school districts across the state in two rounds.
According to the ODE website, the state would award Straight A Fund grants to educational entities in Ohio whose applications showed the drive and courage to try new approaches that meet the learning needs of students, reduce the cost of running a school or school district, drive more dollars to the classroom, are sustainable and would be easy to duplicate by others.
Since the grant’s creation, the Mentor/Kirtland grant called High School Online and Blended Learning Pathways to Success is one of 58 proposals awarded out of hundreds of applications. Our grant was the second largest awarded in the second round in terms of funding and the fifth largest overall.
During the first round, 24 grants were awarded $88.6 Million. Mentor Schools submitted a grant application during round one seeking $4.9 Million, and although our grant scored well, it was not awarded. So, our team went back to work, made improvements and tried again.
In round two, we asked Kirtland Schools to join us as a consortium and applied for $13.8 Million. On Friday, June 20, we were notified by the Ohio Department of Education that our grant was awarded and will be fully funded. Our grant was one of 34 awarded in the second round out of 339 applicants. The second round awards total more than $140 Million in funding. As this email is meant to provide the financial and statistical information regarding the Straight A Fund, you can read more about what the Mentor Schools/Kirtland Schools grant entails for our district and our plan of action here.