The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

December 9, 2013

Final approval set for 24 Straight A grants

Star Beacon

COLUMBUS — The Straight A Fund Governing Board met Friday and recommended 24 grants for a total of $88.6 million in funding to the Ohio Controlling Board.

The Controlling Board will make final approval on Dec. 16. Five school districts in Ashtabula County applied for the Straight A Grant, including Buckeye Area Local (partnering with Ledgemont Local), Jefferson Area Local, Grand Valley Local, Conneaut Area City, and Pymatuning Valley Local school districts.

Ashtabula Area City and Geneva Area City school districts did not submit applications for the grant.

The 24 grants that were recommended to the Ohio Controlling Board were proposals from more than 150 individual entities.

Five hundred and seventy applications were submitted for funds to improve achievement and efficiency. Each grant proposal was required to include a description of the project, an explanation of how the project will be financially self-sustaining, and a description of an implementation plan that identifies quantifiable results that can be benchmarked.

Each application was first rated by three of 230 independent fiscals scorers, who determined that 359 of the 570 applications were sustainable and promoted to the next step of the rating process.

Each application was then reviewed by three of 230 independent programmatic scorers to determine if the proposal was innovative, had substatial value, and lasting impact.

The scores were then reviewed by grant advisors. The 30 grant advisors then issued a recommendation of the highest-quality proposals to the Governing Board.

The Governing Board then made the final recommendations to the Controlling Board. The $250 million Straight A Fund is part of the $1.6 billion increase in state funding for education over the next two years.