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2021-22 Specialized Secondary Programs (SSP) Grant

Grants to California Public Schools, County Offices of Education, Charter
Schools, and Consortia of LEAs for Innovative Educational Programs

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California Department of Education (CDE)

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Grants to California public high schools, county offices of education, charter schools, and consortia of LEAs for innovative educational programs. Funding is intended for new programs related to technical education that benefit students in grades nine through twelve. Funding may be used for ongoing curriculum development and professional development.

The SSP is authorized by the California Education Code (EC) sections 58800–58806, that provide start-up funds for the establishment of a new, innovative specialized program or school for pupils in grades nine through twelve in high schools. The SSP faculty is expected to develop new standards-based model curriculum that provides enhanced learning opportunities in a specialized content area related to a specific career technical education (CTE) pathway as identified in the California Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards. The Legislature intends for the SSP to benefit the state economy by having SSP schools located in close proximity to related industries.

As a result, the California Department of Education (CDE) expects high-quality, innovative approaches to curriculum and instruction. Programs selected for funding are structured for participating students to engage in areas of study in a deeper, practical, and integrated way. Additionally, programs are designed for students to develop knowledge and skills that will prepare them for postsecondary education and careers. Funded programs are expected to plan two new, sequenced courses in two consecutive grade levels. Not only does the SSP approach often lead to recognizable benefits for the entire school, LEA, and local community, this approach can also serve as a model for effective educational practices for other schools in the state.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176180

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Up to 14 planning grants may be awarded this year through the selection process.

Estimated Size of Grant:

- The SSP grant provides funding opportunities for planning grants up to $35,000.
- Typically, implementation grants are funded for approximately $100,000 during the first year of implementation, $75,000 for the second year, and $35,000 for the third year.

Term of Contract:

This SSP grant provides funding for the grant period beginning September 1, 2021, through August 31, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All California public high schools, county offices of education, consortium of LEAs, and charter schools are eligible to apply for SSP planning grants.

The SSP funding cannot be used to supplement an existing California Partnership Academy, Linked Learning pathway, career academy, or other existing pathways, programs, competitions (on or off campus), or clubs at the school. High schools that currently have these types of programs may apply for the SSP grant if the focus of the SSP is significantly different from the existing programs (e.g., an unrelated/different pathway). The SSP funding is for new and innovative programs.

Expenditures for capital outlay are not permitted.

Pre-proposal Conference:

RFA Technical Assistance Webinar: August 17, 2021

Individuals who wish to participate in the webinar should send an email to SSPs at the email address listed in Contact Information below to request the login information by August 12, 2021. Multiple individuals from each site are encouraged to participate in the webinar.

Pre-Application Information:

SSP Planning Grant Activities:
- Release of Request for Applications (RFA): July 30, 2021
- RFA Technical Assistance Webinar: August 17, 2021
- Applications Due by Email: September 10, 2021
- Applicants Notified (Grant Award Letter or Letters of Regret): September 30, 2021
- Educating for Careers Conference (Attendance Mandatory): February 27–March 1, 2022
- 2021–22 End-of-Year Report Due: May 30, 2022
- SSP Planning Grant Funds Expended: August 31, 2022
- End-of-Project Financial Expenditure Report Due: September 30, 2022

Specialized Secondary Programs (SSP):

Request for Applications:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit applications by email to:

Questions should be directed to Alicia Aguirre, Associate Governmental Program Analyst, High School Innovations and Initiatives Office at the email address above or by telephone at 916-319-0472.

High School Innovations and Initiatives Office
Career and College Transition Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4202
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901
Telephone: 916-319-0893

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California

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