The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) will receive funding from the United States Department of Education (USDOE) to fund 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLCs). The funds will be awarded through a competitive grant process based on the implementation of research-based academic improvement practices, through collaborative efforts, and meeting the grant criteria.
Authorized under Title IV, Part B, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the purpose of the 21st CCLC grant program is to establish or expand community learning centers that provide students with out-of-school academic enrichment activities designed to complement the students’ regular academic program. 21st CCLC must also offer the families of student participants literacy and related educational opportunities. Centers may be located in elementary schools, secondary schools, or other similarly accessible facilities. Eligible entities include local educational agencies, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, other public or private entities, or a consortium of two or more such agencies, organizations or entities. Targeted local educational agencies must meet 40% or higher free/reduced lunch criteria.
Current USDOE projections indicate that the ADE will receive $11,915,040 for the 2012-2013 school year. Based on this amount, Arkansas plans to award fifteen (15) new 21st CCLC grants. The remaining funds will be used for continuation awards of current 21st CCLC grantees. The number of grants awarded is subject to change, based on the USDOE awarded amount.
The USDOE has mandated that states focus 21st CCLC awards on schools and students identified as “at risk of academic failure.” Because of this mandate, Arkansas will award priority points to applicants based on:
1. Percentage of students identified as receiving free/reduced lunch services
2. Level of School Improvement status
3. 30% of awards will be awarded to counties where at least 30% of students live in poverty as identified by U.S. Census data. See the application for a list of counties.
The 21st CCLC application, 21st CCLC guidelines, intent to apply documentation, technical assistance information, and the USDOE Non-Regulatory Guidance are attached to this Commissioner’s Memo. Title IV Part B, of the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, can be found at:
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/21stcclc/legislation.html. The original application, three (3) copies, and an electronic copy (on a flash drive or CD) of the application must be received in the ADE no later than 4:00 p.m., Friday June 15. Mail or deliver to: Tammie Cloyes, 21st CCLC Coordinator, Arkansas Department of Education, Four Capitol Mall, Mail Slot #26, Little Rock, AR 72201. Faxed or e-mailed copies of the application will not be accepted.