Sometimes the only way to make progress is to leave something behind.
Regardless of their financial situation, all schools have the same mission: to give their students the best possible education. The looming fiscal cliff in late 2012 and the erosion of traditional funding streams throughout the year forced educators to make tough decisions about how to best fulfill that mission.
Indeed, a July 2012 survey from the American Association of School Administrators found that nearly 53 percent of administrators had deferred technology purchases in order to lessen the impact that sequestration would have on federal education programs. Cuts to professional development (69 percent) and academic programs (58 percent) also were widespread.
Finding the money to keep educational institutions moving forward recently got a little easier, however, with CDW•G's launch of a website that helps educators and IT leaders discover new and creative funding streams to keep curriculum, programs and technology up to date.
53 The number of STEM-focused grant and award opportunities available to public K–12 schools nationwide through GetEdFunding (as of December 2012)
GetEdFunding is a free, curated database of more than 750 active grants and awards that are currently available to public and private pre-K–12 schools, districts and educators, higher education institutions and the nonprofit organizations that work with them.
In an effort to save applicants time and frustration, a minimum requirement of inclusion in GetEdFunding results is the funding source's willingness to accept Letters of Inquiry and unsolicited applications. The site is expanded, monitored and updated daily to give users access to the latest information on existing and upcoming funding opportunities at the federal, state, regional and community level.
Better still, GetEdFunding can be searched using any combination of six criteria: state, institution type, grade level, educational focus area, content area, and 21st century themes and skills (see sidebar, "Inside GetEdFunding"). Users can select "All" for the most comprehensive results or home in on specific opportunities based on their needs.
Once they register — a free, easy process that requires providing basic contact information only — users can view full details of each entry in their search results list, including a description of the opportunity, contact information for the organization offering the grant or award and deadline information. Each registered user also can save opportunities of greatest interest in a "My Grants" folder, save their custom search criteria for future searches and receive regular e-mails with opportunities that meet those criteria.
In addition, GetEdFunding offers visitors supplemental resources that help them in their quest to make the most of technology in their institutions, including the latest Big Deal Book of Technology (bigdealbook.com). In the months ahead, the site will provide advice from grant writers, as well as application tips and tricks.
To learn more about this resource, visit GetEdFunding.com.