U.S. Department of Education: Small, Rural School Achievement Program
Under the Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program, the U.S. Department of Education awards grants on a formula basis to eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) to address the unique needs of rural school districts. Recipients may use program funds to conduct activities under the following federal programs:
- Title I-A: Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Education Agencies. Example: A school district develops an entrepreneurial education program to supplement its civics curriculum.
- Title II-A: Supporting Effective Instruction. Example: A school district pays the stipend for a prospective teacher to work alongside an effective teacher, who is the teacher of record, for a full academic year.
- Title III: Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students. Example: A school district offers an afterschool enrichment program for English learners.
- Title IV-A: Student Support and Academic Enrichment. Example: A school district purchases a bully prevention curriculum for all schools.
- Title IV-B: 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Example: A school district purchases instruments to supplement schools’ band and orchestra programs.
Beginning in FY 2017, all LEAs eligible to receive a SRSA award are required to submit an SRSA application annually in order to receive SRSA funds, regardless of whether the LEA received an award in prior years. This new annual application will require only minimal time of grantees but will help the Department improve SRSA program operations, by informing grantees earlier in the year of their eligibility for the SRSA program, confirming an LEA’s intent to make use of SRSA funding, maintaining updated and accurate grantee contact information, and ensuring grantees are able to draw down grant funds immediately upon receipt of their grant award. All eligible LEAs must submit an annual application, including LEAs eligible to receive an FY 2017 award under the hold harmless provision, dual-eligible LEAs that choose to participate in the SRSA program instead of the Rural and Low Income School (RLIS) program, and SRSA-eligible LEAs that are members of Education Service Agencies (ESAs) that do not receive SRSA funds. In the case of SRSA-eligible LEAs that are members of SRSA-eligible ESAs, the respective LEAs and ESAs must coordinate directly with each other to determine which entity will submit an SRSA application, as both entities may not apply for or receive SRSA funds. Additionally, note that dual-eligible LEAs that apply for SRSA funds in accordance with these application submission procedures will not be considered for an RLIS award.
Amount: $87,752,864 is available to make an estimated 4,300 awards that range up to $60,000 each.
Eligibility: A Local Education Agency (LEA) is eligible for an SRSA award if:
(a)(1) The total number of students in average daily attendance at all of the schools served by the LEA is fewer than 600; or each county in which a school served by the LEA is located has a total population density of fewer than 10 people per square mile; and
(a)(2) All of the schools served by the LEA are designated with a school locale code of 41, 42, or 43, as determined by the Department’s National Center for Education Statistics (https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/rural_locales.asp); or the Secretary has determined, based on a demonstration by the LEA and concurrence of the State Educational Agency, that the LEA is located in an area defined as rural by a governmental agency of the state. Locale codes are described below:
- 41 – Rural, Fringe: Census-defined rural territory that is less than or equal to 5 miles from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is less than or equal to 2.5 miles from an urban cluster.
- 42 – Rural, Distant: Census-defined rural territory that is more than 5 miles but less than or equal to 25 miles from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is more than 2.5 miles but less than or equal to 10 miles from an urban cluster.
- 43 – Rural, Remote: Census-defined rural territory that is more than 25 miles from an urbanized area and is also more than 10 miles from an urban cluster.
(b) The LEA is a member of an educational service agency (ESA) that does not receive SRSA funds, and the LEA meets the eligibility requirements described in (a)(1) and (2) above.
(c) The LEA meets the requirements for a hold harmless award as described in section 5212(b)(4) of the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA. These are LEAs that are no longer eligible for the SRSA program because of amendments made under the ESSA to the locale code designations referenced in section 5211(b)(1)(A)(ii) of the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA. However, these LEAs may receive a FY 2017 award at a reduced rate as described in section 5212(b)(4) of the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA.
See the Department’s eligibility spreadsheet at: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/reapsrsa/eligible17/index.html
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