California RFP for Programs Connecting Schools to Careers

GOLDEN STATE GLORY: Heads up to California school districts, county supervisors, direct-funded charter schools and community colleges: the state of California plans to hand out $250 million in one-time competitive grants for building programs and curriculum aimed at creating career “pathways” for students. A part of these programs seek to connect schools with businesses, particularly in high-growth industries. 

Here’s the official announcement. The gist of it: funds to support programs that find ways to build genuinely useful career-oriented programs, ones that will help students get a footing on a high-growth industry career. Collaborative partnerships between schools and business, and across regions, are encouraged. The funds can also be used to create “standards-based academics with a career-relevant, sequenced curriculum following industry-themed pathways that are aligned to high-need, high-growth, or emerging regional economic sectors.” Translation: coding programs, biotech programs or other jobs-focused studies will get a close look.  

Here’s the background explanation of what the money is supposed to support.

The money will be available for the 2014-15 fiscal year, through 2017-2018. 

First important date: You have to let the state know of your intent to apply by Valentine’s day (Feb. 14). Final applications will be due March 28. Details are here.

Even more handy: the Frequently Asked Questions about the grant program. (Hint: it contains names and contact info of state officials who can answer specific questions.)

The state plans to hold four workshops for those interested in applying for the grants; here are the details.  (The locations are: Fresno, Sacramento, and Downey, Calif.) One session will be a web conference. That one is slated for Feb. 6 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. The state promises to post the login details for this by Feb. 3. 

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