Hofmeister announces first winners of state’s $4 million Champions of Excellence grant


OKLAHOMA CITY (July 4, 2018) – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister today announced the 18 winners of a new Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) competitive grant focused on ensuring students have access to a well-rounded education in a safe and healthy school environment.

For the new “Champions of Excellence” grant, Oklahoma is leveraging millions of dollars in federal Title IV, Part A funds to increase the ability of local schools to improve conditions that lead to student learning. This year’s grantees were awarded a total of $4 million.

“Through this grant program, we are working to prioritize activities that promote well-rounded education opportunities,” said Hofmeister. “In order to reach those goals, it is crucial we invest in schools that have big ideas and bold plans that take shape in innovative programs to foster student learning. Oklahoma’s new Champions of Excellence Program is proud to make that investment in the outstanding Programs of Excellence announced today.”

Forty-one districts applied for the $4 million made available to Oklahoma through Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Many of the 18 winners are pursuing multiple focal areas for a total of 34 new programs that will launch in Oklahoma schools in July 2018 as a result of the grant funding.

The competitive grants will serve as investments in schools seeking to improve or advance student achievement by addressing well-rounded education, safe and healthy schools, and effective use of technology. However, the Champions of Excellence program is available to all Oklahoma districts. After successfully completing a rubric in one of six focal areas (fine arts, mathematics, science, social studies/civics, world languages and safe and healthy schools), Programs of Excellence will receive recognition on the state’s school report card dashboard to be unveiled in December.

Oklahoma will receive an additional $11 million of Title IV, Part A funding this fiscal year, which will be distributed to all Oklahoma schools. OSDE will introduce two new focal areas – computer science and English language arts – at that time.

“By leveraging Title IV, Part A funds in a competitive grants process, already we are seeing innovative projects that will have a significant impact on students,” said Hofmeister. “These funds will help districts ensure their students have access to the well-rounded education all Oklahoma students deserve.”

Districts that received 2018-19 Champions of Excellence Grant funding include:

Clinton Public Schools
Cottonwood Public Schools
Edmond Public Schools
Elk City Public Schools
Grandview Public Schools
Howe Public Schools
Indianola Public Schools
Jenks Public Schools
Lane Public Schools
Maryetta Public Schools
Mason Public Schools
McAlester Public Schools
North Rock Creek Public Schools
Osage County Interlocal Consortium
Putnam City Schools
Springer Public Schools
Stilwell Public Schools
Tahlequah Public Schools

Learn more at http://sde.ok.gov/sde/TitleIVA.

Last updated on July 4, 2018