Today, the Idaho State Board of Education announced that it intends to make Empowering Parents grant applications available to Idaho families in mid-September.
Created earlier this year by Governor Brad Little and the Idaho Legislature, Empowering Parents is a $50 million grant program modeled after the Strong Families, Strong Students (SFSS) program administered in 2020 by the State Board of Education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligible parents or guardians can use the grant funds to purchase education-related resources and services from the Empowering Parents online marketplace, such as internet connectivity, computer hardware, software, instructional materials, tutoring services, etc.
“We know that there are thousands of students throughout our state who experienced learning loss due to the pandemic disruption,” Board President Kurt Liebich said. “The SFSS program made a real difference during the pandemic, and we expect the Empowering Parents program to continue providing needed resources to help address learning loss and get our students back on track.”
The program will provide $1,000 per student or a maximum of $3,000 per family. Students attending Idaho public or private schools or homeschooled students are eligible. The program applies to students in kindergarten through the 12th grade.
Grants will be prioritized and awarded first to households with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) at or below $60,000 per year. Once the first phase of awards is made, the AGI limit will be expanded to households earning up to $75,000 per year. After that phase, if there are any grant funds still available, the program will be available to all other eligible students.
The State Board announced the updated timeline after the State Division of Purchasing reviewed four competitive proposals and selected Primary Class, Inc. to create the grant application portal and the online marketplace for the Empowering Parents program. Under the terms of the agreement, Primary Class will have the application portal ready for launch within 30 days, meaning parents and guardians should be able to begin applying for grants in mid-September.
A portal is available on the State Board of Education website where parents can sign up to receive updates on the program at: https://boardofed.idaho.gov/empowering-parents-program/