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North Carolina Announces K-12 Grants for Digital Education

The Department of Public Instruction’s Digital Teaching and Learning Division has $1.25 million available to fund digital impact or emerging technologies initiatives at public, charter, lab and regional schools.

A small paper graduation cap resting on top of a stack of coins surrounded by more coins.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has earmarked $1.25 million to support professional development, hardware, software and other expenses involved with digital teaching and learning.

Under the state’s Digital Learning Initiative, grants are available to school districts, regional schools, lab schools and charter schools for what a news release called “digital age learning initiatives,” under two categories: digital learning impact and emerging technologies. This program, which is administered by the department’s Digital Teaching and Learning Division, has provided more than $10 million to schools in the past seven years.

“This agency has had a long history of prioritizing and securing funding for digital teaching and learning grants, and I’m excited to see us continue these efforts today,” state Superintendent Catherine Truitt said in a public statement. “As our world continues to become more interconnected, technology embedded within North Carolina classrooms will better help our students prepare for the wide range of opportunities upon graduation. I look forward to the creative proposals that will be put forth by schools across the state and seeing how they will enhance teaching and learning for all students.”

According to the guidelines for the digital learning funds, three-year impact grants will provide up to $95,000 annually for traditional public school districts, and up to $30,000 annually for charter, lab and regional schools. Funds can be spent on professional development, hardware and software purchases, teacher stipend reimbursements, transportation costs, furniture and printing costs. The application deadline is March 4.

The emerging technology grants, on the other hand, will provide up to $50,000 to traditional public schools for one year, and up to $25,000 for charter, lab and regional schools. This money can be spent on professional development (in-house or offsite), digital learning and teaching certification programs, hardware and software, furniture, printing and transportation costs.

In North Carolina, lab schools are managed by partnerships with universities but operate like charter schools and are funded in part by local school districts. Their purpose is to serve low-performing, high-need student populations, according to the Public Schools First NC website.

Webinars on this program are scheduled for Dec. 12, Jan. 6, and Jan. 10-12, according to the news release.