Today is the day.
Applications are now open for Empowering Parents grants, a $50 million pot of money intended to help Idahoans cover educational costs for their children.
“The Empowering Parents grants reinforce this fact – a person’s education starts in the home. Parents are in the driver’s seat, as they should be and always will be in Idaho. The Empowering Parents grants put families in control of their child’s education and helps set them up for success,” Gov. Brad Little said.
Awardees are eligible for up to $1,000 per child or $3,000 per family, which can be used for an array of educational supports, such as internet access, technology, textbooks, standardized test fees, therapy, or educational programs. Those services and items must be purchased through approved vendors on the Empowering Parents online marketplace.
Families of all Idaho students are eligible for the grants, though those earning $60,000 per year or less will be prioritized in the first wave of awards, which will be announced within 30 days of a completed application.
The second wave of awards will focus on those with household incomes of $75,000 or below. A third wave will go toward those families making more than $75,000 – as long as funds remain.
A similar grant program called Strong Families, Strong Students was offered in 2020, and nearly 18,500 families received grants – but more than 26,500 applied.
The grants will be paid for with federal coronavirus aid monies; state general funds will pay for up to approximately $1.2 million in administrative costs.
Primary Class, Inc. won a two-year contract bid to run the program’s online platform, Odyssey, and will be paid $1.485 million. Over the next fiscal year, the State Board also plans to spend $100,000 for a full-time staff member to oversee the program and $50,000 for a required program evaluation.