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Policy 4000 – Grants

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for seeking and administering grants.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County encourages the attainment of external funding from federal, state, or private entities that are aligned with the values and key strategies of the Howard County Public School System(HCPSS). The Board, in its commitment to excellence in teaching and learning, advocates for the pursuit of outside funding in the form of grants to support existing programs which seek to enhance teaching and student learning or grants for research and development of new programs.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for seeking and administering grants.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Data Privacy – The protection of student data from unauthorized data processing.

  2. Equipment – Any inventoried supporting material (physical, digital or otherwise) that is directly connected to the work of the grant.

  3. Grant – Non-repayable funds or goods given by a government agency, foundation, corporation, or other external source that requires a written proposal or other means of commitment for a particular purpose over a specific period of time.

    1. A grant can be newly awarded or provide continuous renewal of funding.

    2. A grant can be awarded based on a formula (statistical criteria with allocations for specific recipients) or awarded based on a competitive process to garner discretionary funds.

    3. Grant awards can be unrestricted or restricted for a program, school, or district. Awards can include funds, in-kind services, materials, and other means to benefit HCPSS directly.

  4. Grant Applicant – An individual authorized by HCPSS to prepare and submit a grant proposal, report on, or prepare materials in response to a Request for Proposal or other grant attainment requirement.

  5. Grant Manager – The school-based administrator, HCPSS Department of Education employee, or other identified staff responsible for managing the implementation of the grant in compliance with the grant agreement and applicable federal, state and local laws.

  6. Indirect Costs – Expenses not readily identified with a particular grant, contract, project function or activity, but necessary for the general operation of the organization and the conduct of activities it performs. Indirect costs rates determine the proportion of each grant’s cost to the school or system.

  7. Memorandum of Understanding or Agreement – An agreement between two or more parties used to define rules of engagement.

  8. Program Manager – Person responsible for day-to-day operation of the grant, under the direction of the grant manager.

  9. Request for Proposal – An offer distributed by a funder that solicits a written proposal for funding or other resources.

  10. Student Data – Any personally identifiable information relating to an identified or identifiable student.

IV. Standards

  1. Board Notification and Approval of Grant Funds

    1. The Board will approve the following prior to the acceptance of funds:

      1. Grant awards for amounts equal to or above $100,000.

      2. Grant awards that require the processing and/or sharing of HCPSS student data with an entity outside of the HCPSS, except for those that are required by state and federal regulations, per Policy 3060 Student Data Governance and Privacy.

    2. The Board will be provided with an annual grant summary report of all HCPSS grants.

  2. Superintendent/designee Requirements and Approval of Grant Funds

    1. The Superintendent/designee will approve all grant awards less than $100,000.

    2. Per Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) requirements, the Superintendent will sign all grant proposals to be submitted to the MSDE.

    3. The Superintendent will sign all grants that include the addition of a full-time equivalent position.

    4. The Superintendent/designee will annually determine the rate for Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) indirect costs (for grant proposals without restricted rates) upon approval by the Maryland State Department of Education. Other indirect costs will be determined by either the funder or the requirements of the project.

  3. Grant Initiation, Monitoring, and Compliance

    1. The grant applicant will submit an Intent to Submit a Grant Proposal form to the Superintendent/designee prior to completing a grant application for any amount.

    2. Grant awards that utilize a memorandum of understanding or agreement with an outside entity for application, implementation, and/or fulfillment of grant will be reviewed by the Partnerships Office prior to the acceptance of funds.

    3. The grant manager will complete all reports required by the grant and ensure that all awarded grants are accounted for and are used for legitimate education-related expenses solely for HCPSS students, teachers, and employees.

    4. The principal will ensure that all grants awarded to the school are accounted for and are used for legitimate education-related purposes.

    5. Through collaboration with the Superintendent/designee, the Offices of Accounting and Budget will support grant managers with financial performance matters and ensure compliant financial grant performance.

    6. A record of all grants that are awarded to HCPSS will be kept by the Superintendent/designee.

    7. The grant manager will keep comprehensive records for a minimum of five years from the grant award, including completed application, notices of grant award, documentation of receipt of funds, correspondence with funder, and financial reports related to any grant.

    8. Disposal of any materials, equipment, or other supplies purchased with grant funds will comply with Policy 4080 Disposition of Surplus Equipment, unless otherwise specified by the provider of the grant.

    9. Grants will comply with federal, state, and local student data and data privacy protections, including those provisions identified in the Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, §4-131, and HCPSS Policy 3060 Student Data Governance and Privacy.

    10. The requirements for grants awarded with non-HCPSS entities (other school districts, government entities, nonprofits) or grants where HCPSS is designated as the subgrantee are in accordance with Section IV.

    11. The provisions of this policy apply to all HCPSS grants. This policy does not extend to fundraisers or donations given to organizations such as Parent-Teacher Associations, booster clubs, school foundations, bargaining units, and independently chartered student organizations

V. Responsibilities

  1. Grant applicants will complete the Intent to Submit a Grant Proposal form to the Superintendent/designee prior to applying for a grant for any award amount.

  2. Grant managers will complete all reports required by the grant and maintain comprehensive records for a minimum of five years.

  3. The Offices of Accounting and Budget will ensure compliant financial grant performance.

  4. Principals or designated school-based administrators will submit an annual report to the Superintendent/designee of all grants awarded to the school during the fiscal year.

  5. The Superintendent/designee will annually present a grant summary report for all grants received during the fiscal year to the Board.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent/designee is authorized to develop appropriate procedures to implement this policy.

VIII. History

ADOPTED: June 14, 2001




  • May 12, 2011

  • April 11, 2019

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2019