Unless you happen to be the Federal Program Director in your district, you probably feel like most of us: federal funds seem very confusing and complicated. Which fund is which? Does our district have the fund? What can be purchased with the fund?
To help districts with these questions and others, RedRock Reports partnered with Mimio earlier this year to create a handy set of user-friendly documents called Mimio Funding Guides. These guides will show you how various funds can be used to purchase teaching and learning technologies like the MimioClassroom suite of products and Mimio reading programs.
Current Federal Priorities and Mimio
The U.S. Department of Education and the Obama administration have some very strong priorities for education these days. These priorities are typically promoted through both formula and competitive funding from the U.S. government. Among the priorities that are being supported right now are these:
- Preparing students for college and careers
- Increasing student achievement
- Turning around low-performing schools
- Providing strong early childhood education experiences
- Creating great teachers and great leaders
When you think about it, both the MimioClassroom products and Mimio reading programs can contribute enormously to these goals. The Mimio Funding Guides outline specifically how the products qualify for funding. Let’s take a closer look.
The Funding Guides
Let’s say you recently reviewed MimioClassroom products and Mimio reading programs, and decided that both would be perfect additions to your district resources. But you aren’t sure if you have the funds to purchase the materials, or if they qualify. You should know that both the products and the programs qualify for purchase using several different federal funds. You may, in fact, already have those funds available to you in your district.
We have partnered with Mimio to create 10 downloadable Funding Guides--five for MimioClassroom products and five for MimioReading programs. Each guide focuses on a single fund and explains specifically how either MimioClassroom products or Mimio reading programs qualify for that fund. When you download a Funding Guide, make sure that it goes with the product that interests you.
Here’s the list of Funding Guides for MimioClassroom:
- Title I
- School Improvement Grants
- Race to the Top
- Charter Schools
- Title IV-B 21st Century Community Learning Centers
The list for MimioReading is as follows:
Each of these Funding Guides is straightforward and easy to read. Each one will tell you the purpose of the fund, the allowable expenditures, the key requirements of the fund, and how the Mimio products meet the requirements. When necessary, references are provided at the end of a guide.
Keep in mind that you are allowed to comingle two or more funds if needed for a purchase. To purchase MimioClassroom products for an after-school program, for example, it is acceptable to comingle Title I funds with Title IV-B 21st Century Community Learning Centers funds, since MimioClassroom products qualify for both.
How can the Funding Guide content be used?
The Funding Guides can be included to support district requests for purchases, and they can be used with any district group who wants to know more about funding. Funding Guide content demonstrates that Mimio products do indeed qualify for purchase with these funds and specifies exactly how.
What Funds Does My District Have?
To determine whether your district has the funds, here’s an easy check: Federal funds are either formula funds or competitive funds. If the fund is designated as a formula fund, your district probably has it because those funds are distributed to states and districts based on a formula. Title I and IDEA are formula funds. Your district very likely has those.
If the fund is designated a competitive fund, your district would have those funds only if it participated in the competition and was granted an award. Examples of competitive funds are Race to the Top, School Improvement Grants, and Charter Schools. Every state has Title IV-B 21st Century Community Learning Centers funds, and the state distributes the funds through competitive grants to districts and other providers. You might start with the Federal Programs Director or Associate Superintendent for Instruction to see whether any of these funding sources are available to you.