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ODE Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant – NOW Open (Deadline: March 25, 2020).

Across Ohio, districts and ESCs have been anxiously awaiting release of the final requirements and the subgrant RFP for ODE’s Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Great NEWS – it is now Open – and that brings even more questions. See the EnvisionEdPlus team is offering answers to many of those questions.

Deadline for Intent to Apply is Feb 14 and the Application deadline is March 25.
Check out our recent blog, To Write or Not to Write, an initial analysis and our CLSD Readiness Self Assessment Tool to help you determine your school’s or early childhood center’s readiness to be considered a ‘model literacy site’.
EEP’s official disclaimer : EnvisionEdPlus does not represent the Ohio Department of Education. Our purpose is to assist our partners in making informed decisions based on our understanding of ODE’s expectations. ONLY the documents provided by ODE are official guidance and requirements for the grant.

Key Questions and Clarifications

What is the deadline?

March 25, 2020 at 4:59 p.m. is the deadline. The RFP first published contained a mistake. The document has been updated on the ODE website so it now has the correct date. The only change in the revised RFP is the deadline clarification.

May our district or consortium designate more than one location within one “model site?”

The applicant must identify the specific location(s) and grade bands to be included in its “model site.” It appears that multiple locations may be incorporated into an application, but we encourage applicants to be strategic. Applications will be scored holistically. To be competitive, applicants should ensure that all included schools, programs and/or grade levels have strong capacity to meet the “model literacy” site standards within four years.

How many subgrants will be awarded?

In each State Support Team Region, the Department expects to award 1 early childhood education subgrant ($393,750), 1 K-5 subgrant($1,050,000), 1 MS subgrant ($525,000) and 1 HS subgrant($525,000). If an SST region does not have any qualifying applications, then those funds could be distributed elsewhere.

Might we receive separate grants for each of our schools (or programs) within the same grade band?

No. An applicant may apply for multiple locations in a single grade band, but those locations would be considered part of a single “site.” The funds (for example, a K-5 award is $1,050,000 over 4 years) would be shared by all of the included schools or programs.

Our school serves more than one grade band (eg. a K-6 or K-8 building). How does that work?

An applicant may apply a single grade band or for multiple grade bands. For example, a district with one pre-K-12 school might be eligible for 1 ECE award ($393,750), 1 K-5 award ($1,050,000), 1 MS award ($525,000) and 1 HS award ($525,000), all within the same application. If awarded all grade bands, that district could receive $7,218,750. That same district could also choose to only apply for one or two of those grade bands.

Our preschool program has one IRN or early childhood license, but we operate in multiple locations. Are we considered one site or multiple sites?

The program may apply for only one ECE model site award, and may define which of its locations are included in that model site. For example, an ESC preschool system that has 5 classrooms across the region may apply for 1 ECE award ($393,750) to benefit all five classrooms, but may not apply for multiple awards.

If an applicant receives an award for one grade band, may it serve grade levels outside that grade band?

The subgrant funds may only be used to serve the grade band awarded. If a K-6 elementary school receives a K-5 award, for example, it could not use sub-grant funds to serve grade 6.

May a district or early childhood program be a partner in more than one application?


Are there any competitive preferences or special considerations?


  • Funding Priority: There is a funding priority for disadvantaged students, as determined by the percentage of economically disadvantaged students served by an applicant. Once applications are scored, all applications that meet a minimum cut score will be ranked among other applications from the same SST region by percentage of economically disadvantaged students served. This ranking will determine which applications are awarded.
  • Competitive Preference 1 (10 bonus points): Demonstrate that you HAVE one or more grade bands that are ALREADY meeting ‘model site’ criteria and are requesting funds to create a model site in a DIFFERENT grade band.
  • Competitive Preference 2 (5 bonus points): Demonstrate that your project is likely to help the state scale the work faster than others. Previous success in scaling initiatives or established partnerships with other regional schools or providers may be relevant here.
  • K-5 Impact Study (additional award of $15,000 per elementary school): Participation in the impact study is optional for eligible K-5 grade band awardees:
    • Awardee has more than one elementary school;
    • Awardee’s elementary schools did not participate in a Striving Readers project; AND,
    • Awardees agrees to have half of its K-5 schools implement during the first 2 years of the grant and the other half implement during the last 2 years.

What is the cut score?

The cut score will be determined by ODE during the scoring process. It will be used to determine the minimum score for applications that will be awarded.

If a school district or consortium applies to develop model sites in multiple grade bands, it is “all or nothing” or will each grade band be considered independently?

The application will receive one score based on its overall quality; however, the distribution of funds may result in an applicant receiving an award for one grade band but not another. This could be possible if there are additional funds available for either specific grade bands or regions. In addition, the Department has included a finalist interview as part of the review and selection process. This may lead to revisions required of the application prior to the official selection and award. Such revisions could include making a change to the identified proposed model site(s).

If you think this grant is right for you and would like assistance writing a competitive application, give us a shout! EnvisionEdPlus partner organizations have won more than $207,000,000 in grant awards.

Contact Michele Timmons 614.893.7341 or Tricia Moore 614.357.4439 for more information.