How does the new LFJ Educator Fund differ from the old Educator Grants program?
In August 2020, we paused our grants program to strategically redesign it. While the two programs have many similarities, there are some important differences. The LFJ Educator Fund works more in partnership with award recipients, with ongoing communication throughout the project process. We work to incorporate educators’ expertise about their own communities into the planning process, collaborating on how to effectively dismantle systemic inequities in education. Educator Fund awards range higher than the previous program’s—up to $25,000—and are aimed at tackling the root causes of injustices. Projects must align with one of three key outcomes, and priority consideration is given to those working in SPLC’s core states in the Southeast: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.
Do you have to be a teacher to apply for an award?
No. We expect that educators, administrators and school personnel in K-12 settings will be the primary awardees. However, we also support those working in facilities where students receive their main education. This includes juvenile justice facilities, therapeutic schools and alternative schools, for instance.
In select circumstances, faculty and staff in schools of education in colleges and universities are also eligible to apply. See the question on applicants from colleges and universities below.
How will I be notified of my submission status?
You will be notified by email when we receive your application and again when the status of your application has been determined.
How long does it take to get a response?
Funding decision notifications will be sent via email six to eight weeks after the application submission deadline.
Why hasn’t my project been chosen?
We support projects from a wide range of locations, demographics, school types and content. If your project has not been chosen this time around, we encourage you to apply again at another time because the pool of applicants may have changed then. Learning for Justice generally supports projects that deliver long-term, sustainable impact on students and school communities. For this reason, requests for small- scale, one-time occurrences such as travel expenses, computer hardware, presenter fees or food items do not generally fall within the realm of funding.
What are some examples of projects you fund?
Learning for Justice Educator Fund projects may include developing and implementing curricula on implicit biases, oppressive language and historical oppression; designing and utilizing a framework to help students have effective conversations about race, poverty, activism and other important topics; or integrating restorative practices into a school-wide discipline policy. These are just a few examples.
Are funds awarded to the individual or to the institution? Why do I have to provide a federal tax ID number? Am I going to be taxed if I receive an award?
Funds are awarded to institutions—either schools or other nonprofit groups. We cannot award funds to individuals. You will need to provide a W9 from your institution if your proposal is approved.
If my project is approved, does this make me or my school ineligible in the future?
Definitely not. We support multi-year projects, and educators may submit multiple times over the course of multiple years. While each person may only receive one award per school year, awards can be given to multiple individuals at the same school in one year.
Are there official dates for the start and end of a project?
Yes. Awardees are expected to complete projects during their specified project period and according to a signed Partner Agreement. For funds awarded in the Fall Semester Cycle, the project period starts on August 1. For funds awarded in the Spring Semester Cycle, the project period starts on January 1. Depending upon your funding type and project, the period end dates vary— six months, one year, two years or three years from the start date.
Will I need to complete an end-of-project report about my project?
Yes. Awardees are expected to submit results of their projects, as well as a final post-project evaluation form. More specific reporting may be required for individual projects. The process may be determined in collaboration with the LFJ Educator Fund manager.
How many times can I receive an award?
Funds are limited to one per applicant per school year. However, we support multi-year projects, and educators may submit multiple times over the course of multiple years. While an individual may receive only one award per school year, multiple individuals within one school may receive awards during the same school year.
Is it legal to upload information about my students online?
There are some legal considerations involved when sharing information about your students. For more information about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), click here. To learn more about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), click here.
I teach outside of the United States. Am I eligible to apply?
Unfortunately, only educators working in the United States are eligible to apply at this time.
When is the application deadline?
Applications for the Fall Semester Cycle are due mid-May. Applications for the Spring Semester Cycle are due mid-October.
I work at a university. Can I apply for funding?
Yes, individuals working within schools of education at colleges and universities may apply for an award if they meet these criteria:
- They plan to use funds to directly support the experiences and education of pre-service or in-service teachers, insofar as it translates directly to the experiences of K-12 students.
- They will not seek funding for overhead costs or general operations for colleges or universities.
I work at a nonprofit organization. Can I apply for an award?
Learning for Justice funds are for projects and educators working in students’ main academic settings. Nonprofits may choose to collaborate with an educator, school or school system to serve as the official applicant on record. The educator, school or district may include your organization in their budget and distribute the funds accordingly once the project begins.
I work at a preschool. Can I apply for an award?
Learning for Justice funding awards are for educators working in K-12 schools. While we cannot award funds to individual preschools, you may choose to collaborate with other educators if you work at a school that includes preschool within a K-12 setting.
I would like to receive professional development training. Can I apply for an award to fund my attendance?
We do not provide funds for training unless it is an essential part of a larger student-centered project. If you choose to include training in your budget, you must articulate in your proposal how the training is necessary to complete the larger student-centered endeavor.
Can I ask the LFJ Educator Fund to sponsor or attend a Learning for Justice workshop or training?
No. Funds cannot be used to pay for Learning for Justice workshops or trainings. Learning for Justice workshops and trainings are provided free of charge. Learn more here.