September 16, 2016
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) announced today that approximately $5.6 million in federal funds for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) will be distributed to eligible districts and organizations for the 2016-17 school year.
Grants will be awarded to eligible programs in their fourth or fifth year of operation that meet sustainability requirements for matching funds. Programs that received 21st Century grants for the first time in 2014-15 and 2015-16 will not be awarded grants for 2016-17 because those grants were awarded in error.
The 21st Century grants provide federal funding for the establishment of community learning centers that provide academic, artistic and cultural enrichment opportunities for students, particularly those who attend high-poverty, low-performing schools. Typically, these programs are offered after school.
The U.S. Department of Education granted Mississippi $14.6 million in 21st Century funds for 2016-17. Due to the over commitment of funds for 21st Century programs in 2015-16, approximately $9 million of this award will be used to reimburse districts and community organizations for costs incurred at the end of 2015-16.
“After receiving guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, we decided to scale back programming in 2016-17 while we re-evaluated how 21st Century grants are awarded and monitored,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “We regret the impact that reducing services will have on children and families. We plan to open the competition for new and continuing grants in 2017-18 with a far more rigorous screening and evaluation process. The MDE takes seriously our role in ensuring that children and families receive high-quality educational services.”
Districts and organizations with 21st Century programs that are in the fourth or fifth year of their funding cycle will receive full funding, provided they meet all eligibility requirements.
“We are able to continue funding the original two cohorts of 21st Century programs because we discontinued the over-committed grant awards,” Wright said.
In August, the MDE announced it was facing a deficit up to $19 million in the 21st Century grant program because more grants were awarded than available funds. The deficit has been reduced to $7.6 million after reconciling 21st Century funds between 2015-16 and 2016-17 and because reimbursement requests from 2015-16 were less than anticipated.
A list of providers that are eligible to receive 21st Century grants in 2016-17 can be found here.
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR
Director of Communications
Jean Cook, APR