Digital Equity and Inclusion Grant
OSPI recognizes that not every classroom or student has access to a high-speed Internet connection and other up-to-date teaching and learning technologies.
An essential part of implementing OSPI’s educational technology standards is advocating for sufficient funding for all districts to help close opportunity gaps related to educational technology. Through the legislative support of House Bill 1365, OSPI will soon provide grants focused on digital equity and inclusion to support these standards.
Digital Equity & Inclusion Grants
The grant for Fiscal Year (FY) 23 was non-competitive, with rolling approvals at each deadline. As of now, all funding for FY 23 for FP 188 has been allocated!
These grants aimed to:
- Support digital learning environments
- Grow and support 1:1 device programs
- Provide access to training in inclusionary practices
- Support English Language Learners and Special Education with adaptive technologies
- Support students in accessing high-quality learning environments without physical limitations
- Provide sustainability by creating frameworks, allowing for more staffing and professional development for equity and inclusionary practices
- Support student inequity and inclusion. These grants were not aimed at individual faculty or staff devices.
- Washington State public, charter, and tribal compact schools.
- Washington State School districts.
- Education Service districts serving Washington State.
- Washington Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth.
- Washington State School for the Blind.
- FY 2022 Awardees and Allocations
- FY 2023 Awardees and Allocations
- Total Allocations and insights for both cycles
- Grant Recipient Feedback
These awards and allocations are public record and reflect current allocations as of September 14, 2022.
Department of Commerce Inter-agency DEI Initiative
Thanks to the generous funding from and collaboration with the Department of Commerce, OSPI’s Educational Technology Department was able to allocate $3 million to 58 districts across Washington State to support Digital Equity and Inclusionary (DEI) initiatives. $150,000 went to the Special Education Technology Center to increase capacity to loan out and test devices to districts.
This funding supported ongoing DEI work by building on existing frameworks and the OSPI Educational Technology Department DEI grants sponsored by HB 1365.
- Department of Commerce/OSPI DEI Initiative Funding Overview and Insights
- Districts Funded with FP 186 (from Department of Commerce interagency funds)
In its first cycle, the Digital Equity & Inclusion Grant awarded $9.5 million to 42 school districts and 4 ESDs. Primarily the awards focused on 1:1 device programs, allocating 4.5 million dollars towards student devices. These allocations helped the district to be fully 1:1 by completing their device fleet or replacing obsolete devices. Some districts also utilized these allocations to provide staffing to support the deployment of these devices.
Many districts focused on inclusionary and adaptive technology. Many deployed interactive displays on accessible mounts, classroom audio enhancement, devices for special education students, and tools, software, and hardware that supports multi-language learners.
Due to the restrictions and timing of funds during the first cycle, many schools could not implement the support elements offered within the grant and plan to apply for the second cycle to complete their initiatives.
After two cycles, the Digital Equity & Inclusion grants have been allocated 18.6 million dollars to schools across the state. Many districts combined their efforts with federal funding such as ECF to complete their 1:1 device programs. Because of this districts already secure in 1:1 programs instead focused their efforts on inclusionary and adaptive technology.
The Digital Equity & Inclusionary Grants (iGrants Form Package 188) were created following RCW 28A.650.065's guidance. OSPI's Educational Technology Department oversaw the administration of these grants. All applicants who applied by the posted deadlines and completed all requirements received funding. RCW 28A.650.065 helped lay the foundation for successful 1:1 programs as well as infuse inclusionary practices across the state. The grant requirement of having districts evaluate their technology planning helped support many districts from being reactive to proactive as well as being reflective on how they use technology in any learning environment, be it classroom or home. The Digital Equity Grants helped create strong foundations for many districts that struggled to catch up with technology. To meet needs, this work will need to be ongoing to support the infusion of technology into classrooms across the state.