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Grants to California Nonprofit Organizations
for Programs to Prepare At-Risk Youth for Employment

Schools Not Prisons

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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California Department of Education (CDE) - Career and College Transition Division (CCTD)

Deadline Date:

11/30/21 11:59 PM PST Receipt


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Grants of up to $75,000 to California nonprofit organizations for programs to prepare at-risk youth to enter the workforce. Funding is intended for programs that will provide at-risk youth with the academic and pre-employment supports they need in order to enter the workforce and avoid becoming engaged with the criminal justice system.

The California Department of Education (CDE) is accepting applications from nonprofit public charities in California to fund academic and career readiness programs that seek to break the school-to-prison pipeline.

Grants shall serve one or more of the following target populations:

  • Youth who are, or have been within the last five years, wards of the court
  • Youth who are considered “opportunity youth” (see Appendix C: Definitions)
  • Youth who attend, or within the last two years have graduated from, a school that has been given a “red” or “orange” performance designation on any one of the state or local indicators on the California School Dashboard for the most recent academic year
  • Youth who currently participate in, or within the last two years have completed, a continuation education program
  • Youth who are any of the following types of “targeted disadvantaged pupils” pursuant to the Local Control Funding Formula supplemental funding guidelines:
    • Youth who are English learners
    • Youth who are foster youth
    • Youth who meet income requirements to receive a free or reduced-price meal

Grant funding shall be used for the following purposes:

  • Youth leadership development
  • Youth or community organizing
  • Pupil enrichment
  • Youth life skills development
  • Youth workforce readiness development
  • Youth mentorship

Allowable expenditures may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Employees (salaries and benefits) working on Schools Not Prisons grant activities.
  • Contracted services and direct service providers.
  • Direct costs associated with programmatic interventions, such as training and release time, project materials and supplies, and services required by project staff, service providers, parents, and students.
  • Reasonable and necessary travel costs for staff training and on-site technical assistance. Travel costs related to the project shall be reimbursed at rates not greater than those established by the California Department of Human Resources.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 198860

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

$10,000 to $75,000

Term of Contract:

The Schools Not Prisons grant provides funding for a grant period beginning April 1, 2022, through July 30, 2023.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

For the purposes of this grant, an applicant must be a nonprofit public charity in California that is in active status, as listed on the Secretary of State’s Business Entities Business Search website, and exempt from federal income taxation as an organization pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

A nonprofit public charity that does not have current 501(c)(3) status may apply with a nonprofit public charity sponsor that has current 501(c)(3) status.

Grant moneys shall not be used for any purpose outside the State of California. In addition, funds provided under this grant may not be used for:
- Preparation, delivery, and travel costs associated with the application;
- Law enforcement activities, including personnel or equipment;
- Telephone systems, fax machines, and telephones, including cell phones and landlines;
- Purchasing of vehicles;
- Acquiring equipment for administrative or personal use;
- Purchasing furniture (e.g., bookcases, chairs, desks, file cabinets, tables);
- Purchasing or leasing facilities;
- Remodeling facilities not directly related to accessibility to instruction or services;
- Providing sub-grants to members of the partnership or other agencies. This includes mini-grants, which are different than service contracts;
- Childcare;
- Purchasing food services, refreshments, banquets, and meals;
- Purchasing promotional favors, such as bumper stickers, pencils, pens, or
t-shirts; and
- Purchasing subscriptions to journals, magazines, or other periodicals.

Pre-Application Information:

- September 27, 2021: RFA Release Date
- Tuesday, November 30, 2021: Applications must be received at the CDE, by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST)
- November–December 2021: Scoring of Applications
- January 2022: Grantees Announced
- Two weeks after grantees are announced: Appeals must be received at the CDE
- February 2022: GAN Letters Released
- March 2022: Disbursement of Funds

After completing each of the attachments contained in the Schools Not Prisons RFA, applicants must complete three separate operations to submit their application.
1. Create a single folder which includes the two separate required files: (1) the Application Packet (Attachment I), and (2) Attachment II.
2. Once the folder is created, applicants will need to save the folder, and its contents, as a single .ZIP file.
3. Once the .ZIP file has been created, upload the .ZIP file into the CDE’s ExFiles File Transfer System.

Contact Information:

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

ExFiles File Transfer System for Application Upload:

The Project Code and Upload Password can be obtained by sending an email request to

Program Contact:
Lisa Reimers

Fiscal Contact:
Neda Ismail

Division Contact:
Career & College Transition Division
916-319-0893 (phone)
916-319-0168 (fax)

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California

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