New Albany News

District applies for $1 million in state grants


New Albany-Plain Local officials have applied for more than $1 million from the Ohio Department of Education's Straight A Fund to provide money for three projects.

The district also is one of 12 school districts requesting a $14 million grant for a collaborative project.

Superintendent April Domine told the school board Oct. 28 the state is expected to grant a total of $250 million over two years: $100 million in fiscal year 2014 and $150 million in fiscal year 2015.

She said the Straight A Fund was created when the state budget was approved in July.

The state is expected to award grants in December and the funds must be used before the end of this school year, Domine said.

The state received 570 applications for projects totaling $868 million, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

New Albany-Plain Local's applications are for:

* $472,825 to reinvent and invest in the district to provide "leaner" operations. The proposal includes working with the Lean Six Sigma concept to eliminate waste and partner with Kent State University's Center for Corporate and Professional Development to help school officials learn how to invest differently to meet daily operational needs.

* $73,188 to consolidate the district's data into one comprehensive system.

* $484,600 to invest in e-readers and e-books and improve the district's classroom libraries.

New Albany-Plain Local also is part of the request for $14 million to collaborate with Columbus, Gahanna-Jefferson, Grandview Heights, Groveport Madison, Marysville, Olentangy, Reynoldsburg, South-Western, Upper Arlington, Westerville and Whitehall school districts and the Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools to provide career pathways for students based on the Columbus 2020 economic-development plan.

Reynoldsburg is listed as the lead district on the project.

The partners will work with Battelle for Kids, the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio and Columbus State Community College to "nearly double the percentage of adults who have economically viable post-secondary credentials by 2025," according to district officials.