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Grants to Colorado School Districts to Address Risk Factors for Dropping Out of School

Expelled and At-Risk Student Services (EARSS) Grant


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Colorado Department of Education
Funding or PIN Number: C.R.S. 22-33-205
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Geographic Focus
USA: Colorado

Important Dates
LOI Date: 08/01/23
Deadline: 08/21/23 11:59 PM Save

Grant Description
Grants to Colorado school districts to serve students at risk of dropping out of school. The purpose of the program is to provide support to expelled students, truant students, and students who are at risk of dropping out due to disciplinary action or chronic absenteeism. Funding is intended for educational services, attendance supports, and behavioral interventions focused on serving students who are expelled (but served), and/or are at-risk of being expelled, and/or are chronically absent.

The Colorado Department of Education is currently accepting new grant applications for the Expelled and At-Risk Student Services Program. 

This is a competitive process – applicants must score at least 70 points out of the 100 points possible to be approved for funding

Priority funding points will be available in the current funding opportunity. Eligible applicants will be identified by CDE to receive additional priority points based on a statistically higher than average rate regarding unduplicated discipline, chronic absenteeism, and expulsions. For more information, see

Initial funding for the 6-month planning period, January 1, 2024, through June 30, 2024, should be used to support the development of the program, engagement with stakeholders, building of systems to identify and monitor student progress, and provide training for staff. This could include salary, benefits, training, extra duty planning time and other costs associated with establishing the program.

Funding, starting in 2024-2025, should be spent on providing educational services, attendance supports, and behavioral interventions focused on serving students who are expelled (but served), and/or are at-risk of being expelled, and/or are chronically absent. At-risk students may also include suspended students, students at-risk of suspension (e.g., already engaged in misconduct), those who are likely to be declared chronically absent, or those who are likely to be declared habitually disruptive.

Services may include but are not limited to:

  • Educational services required to be provided to expelled students under C.R.S. 22-33-203(2) and to at-risk students pursuant to C.R.S. 22-33-202 (regarding a student’s individual support and service plan);
  • Counseling services;
  • Substance use disorder treatment programs; and
  • Family preservation services, including but not limited to the referral of family members to the service providers listed above. EARSS grant funds should not be used for direct services to family members but rather for direct services to students.

For a list of examples of allowable expenses, see


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Eligible Applicants
- Local education providers are eligible to apply for this opportunity. An eligible local education provider is defined as a school district, a Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), a district charter school, an Institute Charter School, and facility schools. Each local education provider that seeks to receive a grant shall submit an application as directed in the RFA in Supporting Documents. See Appendix A (in Supporting Documents): Definitions and Terms, for definitions of charter and facility schools.
- Note: If funded, the charter school’s authorizer will be the fiscal agent – district or CSI.
- Nonpublic schools may apply for a grant only to fund educational services that have been approved by the state board pursuant to section C.R.S. 22-2-107.

Funds must supplement, not supplant, and may not include:
- Indirect Costs;
- Capital equipment or capital improvements such as upgrades or improvements to buildings, utilities or IT infrastructure, or construction;
- Maintenance;
- Gift cards, gift certificates, cash awards, gas for students’ personal vehicles, personal gifts, door prizes, etc.;
- Financial aid for students or staff, such as waiving of fees, paying tuition, scholarships, etc.;
- Credentialing of staff toward a degree or professional certification or license;
- Truancy court-related legal fees;
- Expenditures not directly related to services outlined in the original application;
- Non-EARSS related transportation costs (i.e., daily commuting); and
- Professional development for non-EARSS-related staff, meaning staff who are not involved in carrying out grant supported activity

Funds cannot be applied retroactively to pay for the pre-award planning activities related to the grant. Carryover of funds unexpended during the planning period is not allowed and future year awards will be reduced by the amount remaining.

Pre-Application Information
Completed applications (including all required elements outlined below) must be submitted through the online application form by Monday, August 21, 2023, by 11:59 pm.

Please submit your Intent to Apply by Tuesday, August 1, 2023, by 11:59 pm. Though strongly encouraged, the Intent to Apply is informational and is not a required component of the grant application submission process.

Applicants will be notified of final award status in January 2024.

An application training webinar can be requested from Tricia Walz.

Previously funded grantees are eligible to apply for future awards.

The EARSS Program Manager and the Fiscal Manager of a newly awarded EARSS grant must attend an orientation webinar.

Number of Grants

Estimated Size of Grant
- LEAs can apply for a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $100,000 for the planning period.
- Starting with the 2024-2025 school year, programs are eligible to apply for up to $3,000 per expected student served for the remaining four years of the grant program.

Term of Contract
The EARSS Grant Program is a 4 ½ year funding opportunity that provides a 6-month planning period followed by 4 years of implementation.

Contact Information
Submit an online LOI:

Apply online:

Request an application training webinar:

Program Questions:
Amy Werpy, EARSS Program Manager
(720) 470-7558 |

Budget/Fiscal Questions:
Tricia Miller, Grants Fiscal Supervisor
(303) 877-2154 |

Application Process Questions:
Mandy Christensen, Grants Program Administration
(303) 866-6250 |

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