Funding Resources to Help You Personalize Student Learning With ChalkTalk

Funding Resources to Help You Personalize Student Learning With ChalkTalk

Illustration via iStock

illustration from iStock

School districts have complex budgets. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of possible funding resources to assist schools like yours in getting the things that matter most—tools and resources like ChalkTalk to help students succeed. Read on to learn more about federal, state, and additional funding options below.

I. Funding With Federal Grants & Programs

The federal government has an array of funding options available to schools and districts. In order to qualify for a specific grant, specific criteria must be met. ChalkTalk can be funded through the following programs:

1. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Funding from this program supports community learning centers. These centers must provide academic enrichment opportunities outside of regular school hours, particularly for students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local academic standards in core academic subjects, such as ChalkTalk’s reading and math solutions.

2. Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program

This program provides funding to create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students. If you plan to use ChalkTalk to support such initiatives, your school might be able to receive funding.

3. Education for Homeless Children and Youths

Also known as the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program, this  federal grant program focuses on ensuring homeless children and youth have access to a high-quality education. Schools and districts can fund literacy and math programs such as ChalkTalk that are being used to meet the needs of these children.

4. ESEA/ESSA Title Grants

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 introduced what are commonly referred to as title grants. These grants are federally-backed funds meant to make education more equitable for all students. Title grants were reauthorized in 2015 with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), broadening access to funds and adding more flexibility in how the grants can be spent. In order to receive title grant funding, schools must use the allotted funds for very specific purchases. For example, schools can purchase teaching resources and programs like ChalkTalk with Title I funds if at least 40 percent of their student body is made up of children from low-income families. If you plan to use ChalkTalk in the following ways, you may be eligible to use funds from title grants for your purchase:

  • Title II: Provide professional development for teachers and administrators 
  • Title III: Establish, implement, and maintain effective instruction, especially for English language learners
  • Title IV: Get students college and career ready (which all our high school courses focus on). Promote a well-rounded education through high-quality courses in literacy and STEM.
  • Title V: Carry out initiatives outlined in Titles I, II, III, and IV that require additional funds. (This grant is geared toward small and/or rural schools that need additional funding.)
  • Title VI: Support integrated educational services in combination with other programs that meet the needs of Native American children and their families. (This grant is geared toward Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native populations.)

5. ESSER Funds The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds are federal grants provided under broader Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. These funds are designed to help schools and districts respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and address the educational, social, and emotional needs of students. ESSER funds can be used for various purposes. Districts can use their allotted ESSER funds to meet various needs, including:

  • Purchasing educational technology and devices to support remote learning, hybrid learning, or blended learning models.
  • Providing professional development and training for educators on effective online instruction and student engagement strategies.
  • Supporting efforts to address learning loss and implement evidence-based interventions, tutoring, or extended learning programs.
  • Addressing the unique needs of vulnerable student populations, such as students with disabilities, English learners, and homeless students.
  • Supporting efforts to ensure equitable access to educational resources and opportunities for all students.

These grants are temporary, and the available money must be spent on qualifying purchases before the allotment periods end. For example, ESSER II funds provided under the CRRSA Act can only be spent until September 30, 2023. ESSER III funds, allocated under the ARP Act, generally have an extended availability period until September 30, 2024. It’s essential to review the guidelines and requirements set forth by your state or district to ensure compliance with reporting deadlines and appropriate utilization of ESSER funds.


Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal grant program that aims to increase college access and readiness for students from low-income backgrounds. GEAR UP provides funding to schools, districts, and community organizations to create comprehensive support systems that empower students to pursue higher education. GEAR UP funds can be used to provide college readiness services, including preparation for college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT through providers like ChalkTalk. Through a range of services, including mentoring, tutoring, college and career counseling, and financial aid guidance, GEAR UP equips students with the necessary tools and resources to succeed academically and navigate the college application process. Schools can receive GEAR UP funds by participating in competitive grant applications administered by the U.S. Department of Education. These applications typically require schools to demonstrate their commitment to implementing a sustainable and impactful GEAR UP program, serving a specific cohort of students over a six- or seven-year period. Successful applicants receive funding to implement the program and support students on their path to college and career success.

7. IDEA Funds

Schools might be able to purchase ChalkTalk with funds allotted by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In order to be eligible, schools must use the purchase to enhance education accessibility for students protected under IDEA. ChalkTalk can supplement mathematics and literacy programs for these learners, meaning IDEA funds should apply.

8. Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL)

This grant program from the Department of Education promotes programs that support the development of literacy skills in low-income communities. It includes a focus on pre-literacy, reading, and writing among students from birth through 12th grade. Your district may be able to purchase ChalkTalk under this program to support your students’ reading and writing skills.

9. Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program

This federal initiative aims to carry out a coordinated program of scientifically based research, demonstration projects, innovative strategies, and similar activities designed to build and enhance the ability of elementary and secondary schools to meet the special educational needs of gifted and talented students. If your district intends to use ChalkTalk to support learners in these demographics, you may be eligible to receive these funds.

10. Migrant Education Program

If your district participates in the Migrant Education Program (MEP), then you may be able to purchase ChalkTalk with these funds. The MEP is designed specifically to support the high-quality education of children who are migratory workers or fishers. Similarly, the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) helps migratory and seasonal farmworkers (or their children) obtain the equivalent of a high school diploma and subsequently gain employment or begin postsecondary education or training. The learners must be 16 years of age or older and not currently enrolled in school to qualify. If you intend to use ChalkTalk to support learners under this program, your school may be eligible to receive funding.

11. National Science Foundation Grants

The National Science Foundation (NSF) offers a variety of grants designed to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Because ChalkTalk can help strengthen students’ math skills, these grants might be an option. There are four grants available for K-12 educators, each with its own application requirements. There are also many additional grants available for post-secondary education purposes.

12. Perkins V Funds

Made available through the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, Perkins V funds can be used to purchase equipment necessary to support career and technical education (CTE) programs. If you intend to use ChalkTalk to support your district’s CTE efforts, this federal grant could be an option for your school.

13. Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program

The Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program (SRCL) aims to advance literacy skills for students from birth through grade 12, including limited-English-proficient students and students with disabilities. If you intend to use ChalkTalk to support student literacy, your district might be eligible to use these funds. It’s important to note that these funds are awarded to State Educational Agencies (SEAs) that then distribute the funds to schools and districts. Check with your state or district treasurer’s office to see if your school qualifies.

14. Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Grant Program

The Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Grant Program focuses on improving teacher preparation programs and enhancing the effectiveness of new teachers. As part of this, grants may be used to support innovative approaches to teacher preparation, including the adoption and implementation of evidence-based instructional materials, resources, and technology tools that enhance student learning outcomes. These funds can potentially be used to support the implementation and integration of literacy and math programs like ChalkTalk, depending on the specific goals and priorities outlined in the grant application and approved by the U.S. Department of Education. While the TQP program allows for flexibility in the use of funds, it’s important to note that the specific eligibility and allowable uses of funds may be subject to the requirements and guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education for each funding cycle. Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully review the program announcements, guidelines, and any specific restrictions or priorities outlined by the department to determine whether specific literacy and math programs like ChalkTalk are eligible for funding. When applying for the TQP Grant Program, it’s important to clearly articulate how using ChalkTalk aligns with the goals of improving teacher preparation, enhancing instructional practices, and positively impacting student outcomes. Providing a strong rationale, evidence of effectiveness, and a detailed plan for implementation and evaluation can strengthen the application and increase the likelihood of securing funding.

15. Upward Bound

The Upward Bound program is a federally-funded initiative designed to assist high school students from low-income families or those who would be the first in their families to attend college in preparing for and pursuing higher education. Upward Bound provides academic support, mentoring, tutoring, college counseling, and enrichment activities to help students develop the skills and knowledge needed for college success. Schools can receive Upward Bound funding by applying through a competitive grant process administered by the U.S. Department of Education. The application process typically involves demonstrating the school’s commitment to serving eligible students, outlining a comprehensive program plan, and detailing how the funding will be used to provide necessary services. All programs funded through Upward Bound must provide instruction in math, laboratory science, composition, literature, and foreign language. Successful applicants receive funding to establish or expand Upward Bound programs that make a significant impact on the educational attainment of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Programs that help students prepare for college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT (like ChalkTalk!) can be purchased with these funds.

II. State Funding Resources

In addition to federal funding, many states offer their own grant and scholarship programs that can be used to fund learning programs and services like ChalkTalk. Since each state has its own unique options available, it’s important to refer to your state’s department of education to get the most up-to-date funding information. To determine what state funds might be available to help your school purchase ChalkTalk, visit your department of education website by clicking on your state below:  

image/svg+xml NH VT RI WV MA CT MD DE NJ HI

III. Additional Funding Resources

Federal and state-backed grants and scholarships aren’t the only ways to pay for resources like ChalkTalk. Continue reading for more funding ideas:

  • Private donors: If your district manages any foundations that accept funds from private donors, consider earmarking some of those funds for education technology that supports students’ academic success.
  • Local grants: Many local businesses and private organizations offer scholarship and grant opportunities for schools. Some local education foundations may offer grants for innovative programs and resources in classrooms. It’s worth reaching out to organizations in your school district to see if any offer such programs.
  • Boosters and volunteer organizations: Parent-teacher organizations or associations (PTOs or PTAs) often raise money to assist schools in funding additional resources like ChalkTalk. Other subject-specific booster organizations also tend to raise money to support specific school programs. You may consider scheduling a meeting with your PTO or PTA leaders to discuss the positive benefits ChalkTalk can have on student achievement levels. They may be able to organize fundraising events to help your school acquire and implement ChalkTalk.
  • Foundation grants: Numerous foundations offer grants aimed at improving K-12 outcomes. For example, the Gates Foundation has a strong focus on education and provides numerous grants each year to programs that demonstrate a strong potential for improving educational outcomes.
  • Curriculum for other high school programs: Many high school programs around literacy, numeracy, and/or college and career readiness exist that draw funding from a lot of places but lack a structured end-to-end curriculum that helps deliver on learning outcomes. For example, AVID is a funded program that provides support that educators and students need to encourage college and career readiness and success, but many districts lack a high quality curriculum for their AVID course block. ChalkTalk fits right into that need, and the money allocated for AVID can be used to fund ChalkTalk’s implementation.

Because ChalkTalk serves both literacy and math-based curricula, your district can also choose to purchase our program under various budget line items, including:

  • Curriculum
  • Digital media
  • Technology
  • Teacher development and resources
  • And more!

ChalkTalk supports teachers with evidence-based strategies. To learn more about your funding options, contact us today.

Author: Mohannad Arbaji, ChalkTalk Founder & CEO

Most “hidden gem” funding: Grants! Nearly every type of district is eligible to receive grant funding (federal, state, or private foundation), yet most districts don’t pursue it

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