Wray announces next dropout prevention grants

Raleigh — The Committee on Dropout Prevention has agreed to award $15 million in grants in three separate categories by the end of the year.

The grants will be for innovative programs and initiatives that target students at risk of dropping out of school and demonstrate the potential to be developed into effective dropout prevention and re-entry programs in middle schools and high schools. Grants will be geographically distributed throughout the state and the eight educational regions. They will vary in amounts up to a maximum of $150,000.

The Committee on Dropout Prevention will first review unfunded applications from the 2007 fiscal year to determine which proposals will receive grants this year. The committee is required to appropriate $5.5 million to prior applicants and to give priority to programs in areas with a graduation rate of 65 percent or lower. The committee expects to notify recipients of these grants by October 24.

The committee will also consider renewing grants for the 60 programs that received money last year. Applicants for these grants will have to provide a “progress report” that describes how last year’s grants were used.

Finally, the committee will consider new applications for grants.

The deadline for applications and other materials in support of a new grant or a renewal of a grant is October 31. The committee expects to notify winners of these grants by November 24.

Each county is eligible for no more than three grants in the same fiscal year.

“This program is just one of the ways I and other lawmakers are trying to help improve the state’s graduation rate,” Rep. Wray said. “Reaching young people in a variety of ways increases the chance they will stay in school and move on to successful careers.”

If there are questions about the grant program, please contact Debora Sydnor, chief of the Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps Section of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, at 919-807-3925. You can also get more information about the dropout grant program by visiting www.dpi.state.nc.us/racg/resources/prevention.

The General Assembly created the dropout grant program in 2007 to help improve the state’s graduation rate. The committee awarded $7 million in grants to programs throughout the state.