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  • Meagan Dorsch
    Director of Public Affairs
  • Jon Kuhl
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Washington, D.C.
Aug. 18, 2011

Four State Leadership Teams Receive $50,000 Grants to Expand Learning Opportunities


DENVER—Teams of state legislators, state education officials, governors’ policy advisers and statewide afterschool network directors in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Washington each received $50,000 competitive grants to support student success by effectively integrating expanded learning opportunities into state education systems. The grants are awarded through the Supporting Student Success: The Promise of Expanded Learning Opportunities initiative, sponsored by the C.S. Mott Foundation.

The grants will support each state’s plan to develop, adopt and implement state policies that integrate expanded learning opportunities—such as afterschool, summer learning, and extended day and year programs—into state education systems.

“Ensuring students are prepared to compete in a global economy remains a top priority for all governors,” said NGA Executive Director Dan Crippen. “NGA is happy to help provide assistance to these states as they explore options for expanded learning opportunities.”

“State legislators continue to work on policies and programs to expand students’ opportunities to learn both inside and outside of the classroom,” said NCSL Executive Director William T. Pound. “We look forward to seeing the different learning innovations these states develop, and working with them to share these ideas with other policymakers across the country.”

“We must provide today’s students with personalized learning experiences and environments based on individual needs and interests,” said CCSSO Executive Director Gene Wilhoit. “The human resources that exist in expanded learning opportunities must be tapped and seen as a key strategy for transforming the system to provide high-quality anytime, anywhere learning.”

State activities supported by the grant will differ, but each state’s proposed plan focuses on efforts to create state policies that support the integration of state education systems and the vast network of afterschool programs and providers in each state. For example:

  • California will align the multiple existing funding streams to support summer learning opportunities as a key part of the state’s year-round system of academic support.
  • Connecticut will develop and implement a statewide plan for integrating expanded learning opportunities and K-12 public schools.
  • New Jersey will identify best practices to facilitate the implementation of the Common Core State Standards into expanded learning opportunities.
  • Washington will create strategies for using expanded learning opportunities to close the achievement gap.

In addition to the funding, grant recipients will receive in-depth technical assistance from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

NCSL is the granting organization. This is the third group of grantees. The first group of states were awarded grants under this initiative in 2007. All states with C.S. Mott funded statewide afterschool networks that have not previously participated in the initiative, were invited to submit proposals. An independent selection committee of state policy and afterschool experts reviewed applications and made award recommendations.

NCSL, the granting organization, is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.

Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington, D.C.’s most respected public policy organizations. Its members are the governors of the 50 states, three territories and two commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices.

CCSSO is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress and the public.

The Mott Foundation, established in 1926 by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society.  It supports nonprofit programs throughout the U.S. and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally.  Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Environment, Flint Area and Pathways Out of Poverty.