79-2506. Department; duties; proposal for grant; contents; award of grants.

(1) The department shall establish an application process and timeline pursuant to which partner organizations may submit proposals for a grant under the Expanded Learning Opportunity Grant Program. Each proposal shall include:

(a) A grant planning period;

(b) An agreement to participate in periodic evaluations of the expanded learning opportunity program, to be specified by the department;

(c) Evidence that the proposed expanded learning opportunity program will be coordinated or contracted with existing programs;

(d) A plan to coordinate and use a combination of local, state, philanthropic, and federal funding sources, including, but not limited to, funding available through the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq., as such act and sections existed on January 1, 2015, funds allocated pursuant to section 9-812, and funds from any other source designated or appropriated for purposes of the program. Funding provided by the Expanded Learning Opportunity Grant Program shall be matched on a one-to-one basis by community or partner contributions;

(e) A plan to use sliding-fee scales and the funding sources included in subdivision (d) of this subsection;

(f) An advisory body which includes families and community members;

(g) Appropriately qualified staff;

(h) An appropriate child-to-staff ratio;

(i) Compliance with minimum health and safety standards;

(j) A strong family development and support component, recognizing the central role of parents in their children's development; and

(k) Developmentally and culturally appropriate practices and assessments.

(2) The proposal shall demonstrate how the expanded learning opportunity program will provide participating students with academic enrichment and expanded learning opportunities that are high quality, based on proven methods, if appropriate, and designed to complement students' regular academic programs. Such activities shall include two or more of the following:

(a) Core education subjects of reading, writing, mathematics, and science;

(b) Academic enrichment learning programs, including provision of additional assistance to students to allow the students to improve their academic achievement;

(c) Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education;

(d) Sign language, foreign language, and social studies instruction;

(e) Remedial education activities;

(f) Tutoring services, including, but not limited to, tutoring services provided by senior citizen volunteers;

(g) Arts and music education;

(h) Entrepreneurial education programs;

(i) Telecommunications and technology education programs;

(j) Programs for English language learners that emphasize language skills and academic achievement;

(k) Mentoring programs;

(l) Recreational activities;

(m) Expanded library service hours;

(n) Programs that provide assistance to students who have been truant, suspended, or expelled to allow such students to improve their academic achievement;

(o) Drug abuse prevention and violence prevention programs;

(p) Character education programs;

(q) Health and nutritional services;

(r) Behavioral health counseling services; and

(s) Programs that promote parental involvement and family literacy.

(3) A proposal shall: (a) Demonstrate specifically how its activities are expected to improve student academic achievement; (b) demonstrate that its activities will be provided by organizations in partnership with the school that have experience or the promise of success in providing educational and related activities that will complement and enhance the academic performance, achievement, and positive development of the students; and (c) demonstrate that the expanded learning opportunity program aligns with the school district learning objectives and behavioral codes. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require an expanded learning opportunity program to provide academic services in specific subject areas.

(4) The department shall make an effort to fund expanded learning opportunity programs in both rural and urban areas of the state. The department shall award grants to proposals that offer a broad array of services, programs, and activities.

Source:Laws 2015, LB519, ยง 20.