ISBE Updates March 2024

  • Date Posted
    March 27, 2024
  • Category
Early Childhood Block Grant RFPs
ISBE has opened the Request for Proposals (RFPs) process for the Early Childhood Block Grants for FY 2025. The State Board of Education will award $75 million in funding to expand access to preschool through the Smart Start Illinois program.
The Block Grants will be awarded in three areas, with RFPs available for all three.
  • Preschool for All Program – Half-day (2.5 hours per day) preschool for 3- to 5-year-olds.
  • Preschool for All Expansion Program – Full-day (5 hours per day) preschool and comprehensive physical and mental health services for 3- to 5-year-olds in the highest-need communities.
  • Prevention Initiative Program – Services for children 6 weeks to 3 years old in childcare centers licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
School districts, Regional Offices of Education, and other organizations with early childhood education experience are invited to apply for the grants. Priority will be given to applicants in early childhood deserts. The funds allotted will be determined by the number of applications received and the amount of funding appropriated.

ISBE has scheduled a series of webinars to assist with the grant process. The webinars will take place on April 10 from 10-11 a.m., April 22 from 10:30-11:30 a.m., and on May 3 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Additional information on the Block Grants, the RFP process, and the upcoming webinars is available on the State Board of Education’s website.

The deadline for submitting FY 2025 Early Childhood Block Grant RFPs is May 16.

New Computer Science Equity Grant
Districts can apply for the newly created Computer Science Equity Grant. The grant's purpose is to develop or enhance computer science skills of K-12 students by creating new opportunities. The grant intends to improve equity outcomes and decrease accessibility issues by providing universal access for students at all grade levels across the state. The grant awards will range from $10,000 to $330,000 per year. Information about the RFP for the $3 million competitive grant is available online and due by April 4.