The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has announced that it has approved more than $169 million in Maryland Lead grants to help overcome pandemic challenges.
Maryland will disburse more than $169 million in funding to local education agencies (LEAs) across the state to “directly accelerate learning and seed long-term, sustainable, and transformational change in Maryland school communities.”
All 24 of Maryland’s school districts applied and were approved for grant funding:
All 24 Maryland School Districts applied to the Maryland Leads program and received an award. The largest awarded program investments are in two strategy areas: Grow Your Own Staff and the Science of Reading. With additional financial incentives to encourage LEA participation, 23 LEAs will implement Grow Your Own Staff Programs (totaling $47,486,941 in LEA awards) and 22 LEAs will begin programs related to the Science of Reading (totaling $53,252,654 in LEA awards).
Maryland Leads Grant program
As Maryland prepares for an influx of federal ESSER grants to help local jurisdictions address learning loss related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) is implementing the Maryland Leads program help streamline the federal funding and to help guide local school systems’ strategies to combat the COVID gap.
MSDE describes the Maryland Leads program on its website:
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.
Program and ESSER grant details
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 innovative grant program also generated more than $25 million in local investment to supplement Department awards, which will build sustainability for Maryland Leads grant programs and activities.
The grant initiative is centered around seven high-leverage strategies that have been proven to be effective and transformative for schools and school systems:
- Grow your own staff
- Staff support and retention
- The science of reading
- High-quality school day tutoring
- Remaining the use of time
- Innovative school models
- Transforming neighborhoods through excellent community standards
At the 2022 MACo Summer Conference general session, “Too Cool for Traditional School: The Changing Role of Community Colleges and Career and Technical Education,” an esteemed panel of education leaders and policy experts will explore these emerging trends in public education and how local governments can best prepare Marylander’s learners for the modern workforce.
The 2022 MACo Summer Conference will be held at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD from August 17-22. This year’s theme is “Taking Care of Business.” More information can be found on our conference website.
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