Gov. Jared Polis announced over $32 million in available grants through the new Response, Innovation, and Student Equity (RISE) Education Fund. School districts, public schools and colleges, and other education-related entities can apply for grants ranging from $250,000 to $4 million. These funds will be awarded in two rounds. Application deadlines: Oct. 17 and Dec. 19.
“While we want to help solve the inequalities that have been exacerbated through COVID, we really want to create the innovation that will directly address the underlying inequities that have always been present in underserved communities,” says Mike Johnston, chair of the grant selection committee and CEO of Gary Community Investments (GCI). Colorado-based Gates Family Foundation has partnered with the governor’s office and GCI to help educators across the state apply for the second wave of funding.
These grants are meant to foster sustainable innovations that improve student learning, close equity gaps and enhance operational efficiency. “We must do more to expand opportunities for every student to receive an education that prepares them for a bright future. Which is why I’m thrilled to announce this transformative funding program that supports real innovation to close equity gaps in our communities, help our students rise, and share what works with others,” Polis said.
The program will use federal funds from the governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, included as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.