$10M in Grants Now Available for Tutoring Initiatives to Combat COVID Learning Loss

Maryland will soon join the National Partnership for Student Success and offer $10 million in grant funding for post-pandemic tutoring initiatives to help close the “COVID gap.”

Maryland is joining the National Partnership for Student Success (NPSS) and investing around $10 million to help students across the state regain traction after pandemic-related learning loss. The NPSS is a research-based, locally-driven public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Education, AmeriCorps, and the NPSS Hub at the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University that helps schools, districts, nonprofits, and State and local governments create, expand, and improve evidence-based programs that support the academic recovery, mental health, and overall well-being of students. It specifically supports increasing the number of tutors, mentors, student success coaches, postsecondary transition coaches, and wraparound/integrated student support coordinators providing research-based supports to students that promote their academic recovery and overall well-being.

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and related learning loss around the country, the federal government has urged states, school districts, and colleges and universities to partner together to support students, including through high-impact tutoring initiatives.

Introducing The Maryland Tutoring Corps

Maryland plans to do just this through a new program, The Maryland Tutoring Corps. The Maryland Tutoring Corps is an innovative, highly competitive grant opportunity that seeks to harness remaining one-time American Rescue Plan Funds (ESSER III) for a substantial investment in launching and scaling high-quality, school day tutoring for secondary math that will mitigate long-term learning loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative is estimated to serve more than 60,000 students and recruit more than 800 tutors in the initial grant phase. The program specifically emphasizes math tutoring.

“Through participation in the National Partnership for Student Success and the launch of Maryland Tutoring Corps, we are strengthening our commitment to service and educational excellence for all Maryland students,” said Governor Wes Moore. “By joining forces with experienced organizations and passionate individuals, Maryland will foster a transformative educational environment that empowers students to overcome challenges, excel academically, and thrive in the future.”

State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury noted:

We have witnessed the profound impact of the pandemic on our children’s education, especially in math proficiency. But we refuse to accept the status quo. Math proficiency was trending downward even before the pandemic. We must take action. With the power of our remaining ESSER funds, we have the opportunity to enact lasting change in secondary math proficiency. This is not a momentary reaction to the challenges we face; it is a strategic investment in the future. Our goal is to seed a long-term, evidence-based math intervention that will provide ongoing support via a permanent tutoring corps to students who need it the most. By doing so, we can empower them with the tools and knowledge to thrive academically and transform their educational journey for years to come.

Maryland Tutoring Corps grant opportunities

MSDE will allocate up to $10 million in grants to local education agencies (LEAs) or a group of LEAs that collaborate with institutions of higher education (IHEs), non-profit partners, the governor’s Maryland Corps program, or county/city governments. These partnerships will work together to build the necessary systems for establishing a sustainable statewide tutoring corps.

Grants will be awarded to local jurisdictions for work that “prioritizes secondary students who are not proficient in math, particularly middle school students in grades 6-8, Algebra students of any grade level, and historically underserved students such as African American students, economically disadvantaged students, English learners, and students with special needs.” The grant program’s purpose is to “seed the establishment of a permanent tutoring corps program, one that is positioned to sustainably recruit, train, deploy, and support tutors to work directly with students who are not proficient in math.”

There is a fund-matching requirement to access grant funding:

To amplify the program’s impact, the grants include a 2-1 match component, effectively tripling the total investment from $10 million to up to $30 million.

The fund matching aspect of the Maryland Tutoring Corps grant program is one of the key components of the grant. This is designed to stimulate a partnership commitment from applicants in a collective effort to bolster the resources available for enhancing math proficiency, particularly for historically underserved groups.

Matching funds can originate from a variety of sources that are not strictly limited to local education agency resources, including private philanthropy, businesses, community organizations, or other nongovernmental sources of funding. This flexibility in funding sources is designed to allow applicants to tap into a broad array of potential funding streams, foster widespread community involvement in this critical initiative, and amplify the impact of each grant representing a shared investment in students’ futures.

Grant applications will remain open through August 15, 2023.

Apply for the Maryland Tutoring Corps Grant.

Read more about Maryland joining the NPSS.

Learn more about the NPSS.