Deltek Analysts Randi Powell and Joseph Lee report.
The Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) Grant Program was established in 2005 under the U.S. Department of Education’s (USDOE) Institute of Education Sciences (IES) as a competitive cooperative agreement grant. The grant was intended to allow states to manage and analyze education data such as student records. This data would help states, districts, schools, educators and other stakeholders make more informed decisions on ways to improve student learning and achievement. Because these SLDS projects are such a large undertaking that require technical skills and technologies most states and localities do not have, education technology vendors have stepped in to design, develop and implement these federally-funded statewide systems.
Since the grant’s debut, there have been four rounds of SLDS grants awarded to 41 states and the District of Columbia. The most recent request for applications (RFA) released on September 15, 2011, is for the fifth round FY12 grants. Like previous years, the three priorities listed for the FY12 SLDS RFA are to:
1. Design, develop, and implement a statewide, longitudinal K-12 data system
2. Develop and link early childhood data with the state’s K-12 data system
3. Develop and link postsecondary and/or workforce data with the state’s K-12 data system
Individual grants for FY12 are estimated to range from $1 million to $5 million over a three-year period. The IES will award grants of no more than $5 million for Priority 1 and grants of no more than $4 million for Priorities 2 and 3. The submission deadline is December 15, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. EST. The only applications that will not be considered for the FY12 grants are the 20 state educational agencies that received the SLDS ARRA grant in May 2010, as the ARRA grants were two to three times the size of previous SLDS grants. A map of all 41 grantee states and the District of Columbia can be found below:
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