Awards and Programs for Teachers:
TEACHER GRANTS-Frequently Asked Questions

Who can submit a teacher grant proposal?

Any full-time teacher or administrator is eligible to submit an application for an INDIVIDUAL teacher grant requesting funding up to $1000 per proposal. One grant proposal per teacher may be submitted. INDIVIDUAL teacher grants may request partial or full project funding.

OR a TEAM of teachers may request up to $5000 per grant proposal within a single grant season. A TEAM of teachers is defined by the individual school. It may consist of a grade level team, a cross-curricular team, a subject-specific team, a school-wide team, etc. Teachers submitting a TEAM proposal are NOT eligible to submit an INDIVIDUAL proposal.

 

How do I get started?

Approximately 2 weeks after the start of a new school year, BCPEF hosts a teacher grant writing workshop conducted by teacher representatives of the Education Family Committee who are experienced in successful grant writing.  The workshop covers a brief introduction to BCPEF Teacher grant process, step-by-step instructions for developing a concise, persuasive grant proposal, directions for submission and website information, consultation to address your individual questions and needs and discussion time for project ideas and current proposals. Year after year, data shows that the participants who attend the workshop and submit proposals, score higher and receive more grant awards than teachers who do not attend. For example, in the 2019-2020 workshop 12 attendees submitted proposals with 9 or 75% of them being awarded.

 

What items are not funded by teacher grants?

  • Capital improvements
  • Travel
  • Classroom furnishings unless an integral part of projects
  • Salaries nor salary supplements
  • Playground equipment
  • Field Trips
  • Athletic programs
  • Postage/Shipping

 

Why must my principal send a permission email?

You should share your proposal with your principal so that its expenditures and strategic impact on student performance/curriculum is transparent and in line with system/school objectives.  Your principal will provide BCPEF with necessary approval.

 

Why is my proposal disqualified if my name or my school or system’s name is included?

BCPEF strives to maintain the integrity of the teacher grant process through a fair and nonbiased evaluation of each proposal. It is imperative that teachers submitting proposals remain anonymous for the assurance that all proposals are treated fairly and equitably.  The evaluation process begins with the Education Family Committee, a committee composed of teacher representatives from each school in Bradley County and Cleveland City Schools.  Depending on the number of submissions, the Education Family Committee members are assigned 4 – 5 proposals to evaluate using the online rubric.  Each grant proposal is scored by 3 separate evaluators and the three scores are averaged. A cut-off score determines which proposal moves to the next level. Therefore, we ask that schools, teachers, and systems are left anonymous to maintain the integrity of the Teacher Grant Program. 

 

If awarded, when can I begin purchasing items for implementing my grant?

Recipients of grant awards may begin spending funds immediately.  Provide the school bookkeeper with necessary documentation for purchases and receipt of purchases. A Reimbursement for Funds form is on our website for the school bookkeeper to submit to BCPEF by May 1. 

 

Why do I need to submit a project report?

Funding for teacher grants is made possible through the generosity of donors to BCPEF.  These donors are individuals, businesses and corporations, education family members, and many others who see that investing in public education, and in you, is a vital part of our community growth and prosperity. Every donor deserves to know the impact of their investment.  Your project report is an important part of the grant cycle that communicates this impact.  Our donors trust BCPEF and are assured that all donations will be used wisely and in accordance with intent of the proposal. As a general rule, a donor who is satisfied with the transparency and impact of their donation, will continue to contribute to BCPEF.

 

Who should I contact with any questions I may have?

Should you have any questions please contact BCPEF’s grants manager, grants@bcpef.org, or call our office at 423-476-0034.

 

How do past applicants fare and does it hurt my chance at being awarded again?

Being awarded a teacher grant in previous years is neither an advantage nor disadvantage to the applicant. Historically, BCPEF has funded projects that build on prior investments; however, this is not guaranteed.

 

Should I have someone look over my proposal before I submit it?

Yes, it’s important to have others read and edit your proposal before submission. The following are people who BCPEF suggests read your proposal before submission:

Education Family Committee member- The Education Family Committee Representative from your school, or one you may know outside of your school, is an excellent person to read your proposal. The Education Family Committee Representative are the ones scoring and reading teacher grants, so they can give you guidance on whether your proposal follows the rubric and on how to improve your proposal to achieve a higher score.

Non-educator- There are many words and abbreviations specific to the education field. Therefore, having someone who is not an educator read your proposal will show you how easily it can be understood (or) to avoid jargon. If your proposal is well written and clearly defined, a non-educator should be free of confusion when reading it, meaning the evaluators will also understand your proposal.

Your Principal- What’s written in your proposal will be taking place at your school. Therefore, you should give your principal ample time to read your proposal to make sure he/she is comfortable with what you are proposing to do in your classroom or throughout the school. Additionally, your principal will be another important editor, who can make sure you mention all the proper proposal pieces specific to your school and system.

 

If my proposal is not awarded, can I receive feedback?

If your proposal is not awarded, you may request feedback from BCPEF. Feedback is given only upon request, not automatically sent to non-awardees. Feedback given will be the comments from the evaluators who scored your rubric, but no evaluator scores will be sent out.