Managing federal grants can be a time-consuming, complicated undertaking. To help school districts more efficiently manage their federal monies and stay in compliance, the Shared Resources Center has added federal grants management to the array of services it offers.
The federal grants management service offers multiple options that districts can tailor to their needs, according to Federal Grants Specialist Candice Sears.
“The federal grants process can be difficult and frustrating if you don’t have the resources or experience to effectively manage it,” said Sears. “We offer services to help at every point in the process, from managing the entire program to providing oversight during key deadlines.”
Helping districts stay in compliance to protect their funding is a key component to the program, but Sears noted that the Shared Resources Center can also help districts adopt a more strategic approach to their federal grants. The Shared Resources Center will work with the district to complete a needs assessment, develop goals and strategies, and create an action plan for how the dollars will be applied.
“Rather than take a cut-and-paste approach to the application, districts can instead identify and target federal dollars to actual and immediate needs,” Sears said. “It makes the process more meaningful, and by addressing documented needs, students benefit.”
In addition to strategic planning, the Shared Resources Center can assist with:
• Grants management, from application to drawdown
• Training to help district staff become more efficient and strategic
• Compliance oversight, to ensure deadlines are met
• Liaison services between the district and the Ohio Department of Education
The Shared Resources Center was launched by the Montgomery County Educational Service Center with OPTedge, LLC, to help school districts stretch their resources more efficiently and effectively. The federal grants management service is a natural complement to the range services that are already offered by the Shared Resources Center, including financial, communications and EMIS services.
“We created the Shared Resources Center to help school districts cost-effectively meet their needs and remove barriers to progress,” said Frank DePalma, Montgomery County Educational Service Center Superintendent. “We want to help school districts make the best use of their resources, both time and money. We recognize that needs vary by district, which is why we offer such a broad range of services.”
The Shared Resources Center is currently providing federal grants management services to Valley View Local Schools, Beavercreek City Schools and the Dayton Regional STEM Center. Sears also recently partnered with the Ohio Department of Education to offer a free session on federal grants management resources to any school district employee who was interested. Another session is planned in the spring.
“We want to help districts be as informed as possible so they can make the best decisions possible for their students,” Sears said.
About the Shared Resources Center
The Shared Resources Center is a partnership between the Montgomery County ESC and OPTedge, LLC, that uses the shared services model to help K-12 school districts save money, operate more efficiently and expand their resources, all without adding to their payroll. The SRC offers temporary, part-time and full-time services; consulting services; strategic planning and more in the areas of financial services, operations, human resources, communications, federal grants management and EMIS. For more information, visit www.sharedresourcescenter.com or call Montgomery County ESC Superintendent Frank DePalma at (937) 225-4598.