Rural Education Initiative

Contact Information

Rural Education Achievement


Tony May

Program Supervisor

The Rural Education Initiative (Title V, Part B) is a suite of federal programs designed to address the unique needs of rural local education agencies (LEAs).

These LEAs frequently lack the personnel and resources needed to compete for federal competitive grants and often receive formula allocations that are too small to be used effectively for their intended purposes. OSPI supports LEAs with three rural education provisions.

Rural Education Provisions

Small, Rural School Achievement Program (SRSAP)

SRSAP Components

SRSAP (Title V, Part B, Subpart 1) is comprised of two components. The eligibility requirements are the same for both components.

  1. U.S. Department of Education SRSA grant
  2. REAP Alternative Fund Use Authority

SRSAP Eligibility & Application

The U.S. Department of Education (DoED) awards annual SRSA funds directly to eligible school districts on a formula basis. Funding does not flow through OSPI.

You can apply for funds through the U.S. Department of Education's grants website “G5”. The application period closes in April or May each year. The DoED publishes an official notice, in the Federal Register, that includes the opening and closing dates for the application and details about the school districts that are eligible or need to apply for SRSA funds.

An eligible school district that chooses to participate in SRSA may not receive funding under the RLIS program.


Alternative Fund Use Authority (REAP)

Alternative Fund Use Authority (REAP) provides eligible local education agencies (LEAs) with greater flexibility in using the formula grant funds they receive under certain state-administered federal programs. REAP is a component of the Small, Rural School Achievement Program.

Unlike the SRSA Grant, REAP Alternative Fund Use Authority is not a grant and does not provide LEAs with funding. Rather, it gives LEAs greater latitude in spending funds.

School District Eligibility

For SRSA/REAP eligibility, a LEA must:

  1. Have a total average daily attendance (ADA) of less than 600 students, OR serve only schools that are located in counties that have a population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile; AND
  2. Serve only schools that have a National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) school locale code of 41, 42, or 43, OR be located in an area of the state defined as rural by a governmental agency of the state.

A rural LEA is defined as being located entirely within counties with a population density of fewer than 100 persons per square mile or counties smaller than 225 square miles as determined by the Washington State Office of Financial Management and published each year by the department for the period July 1 to June 30. Only those LEAs that passed the eligibility criteria for SRSA would be eligible to use the alternative definition, as more restrictive than the alternative. An LEA that is eligible for either SRSA or RLIS will not be considered for an alternative definition as rural.

Use of Funds

REAP allows eligible LEAs to combine/pool the following allocations:

  • Title II, Part A - Supporting Effective Instruction
  • Title IV, Part A - Student Support and Academic Enrichment

LEAs that utilize REAP may apply those combined/pooled funds to allowable activities under:

  • Title I, A - Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Education Agencies
  • Title II, A - Supporting Effective Instruction
  • Title III - Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students
  • Title IV, A - Student Support and Academic Achievement
  • Title IV, B - 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Private School Equitable Participation

Private schools are eligible to participate in activities under Title II, A and Title IV, A. Note: Funds should never be paid directly to private schools.

Rural Low-income Schools Program (RLIS)

The Rural and Low-Income Schools (RLIS) program (Title V, Part B, Subpart 2) provides grant funds to rural local education agencies (LEAs) that serve concentrations of children from low-income families.

Awards are issued annually to OSPI, which makes subgrants to the state's LEAs that meet the applicable requirements. The amount of funding a state receives is based on its proportionate share of children in Average Daily Attendance (ADA) in all LEAs eligible to participate.

RLIS Eligibility & Application

LEAs are responsible for submitting an application through iGrants Form Package 262. LEAs are eligible if:

  1. 20% or more of children served (ages 5-17) are from families with incomes below the poverty line as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau; AND
  2. All schools served have a locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43 as determined by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Use of Funds

Recipients may use program funds to conduct the following activities:

  • Activities authorized under ESEA, Title I, Part A (Improving Basic Programs Operated by LEAs)
  • Activities authorized under ESEA, Title II, Part A (Supporting Effective Instruction)
  • Activities authorized under ESEA, Title III (Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students)
  • Activities authorized under ESEA, Title IV, Part A (Student Support & Academic Enrichment)