Schools can now apply for funding through the RISE Fund!

Written by: Jacqueline Tiwonge Nkhonjera
Date Posted: September 25, 2020

Colorado public schools and universities can apply for financial support from the $32 million Respond, Innovation, and Student Equity (RISE) fund created by Gov. Jared Polis with federal funding received as a result of the pandemic. The COVID-19 crisis has had an enormous operational, educational, and economic impacts on schools, students, parents and families. This is particularly true for low-income students, minority students, students with disabilities, students experiencing food or housing insecurity or system-involved students such as those in foster care. For those who already faced significant challenges before the pandemic, many of those challenges have only been amplified. 

Since schools closed in March, Colorado educators have been innovating daily to serve students against these challenges. With Gov. Polis’ announcement, the state is providing a tangible way to support the educators who are working hard for our state’s students. The fund is described as an incubator of ideas that “advance student learning, especially among those who have suffered deeply the economic, social and health effects of the crisis.” RISE fund applicants could receive between $250,000 and $4 million, depending on the proposal. Eligible applicants include school districts, charter schools, higher education institutions and systems, federally recognized Tribes and early childhood councils. Nonprofits and community-based organizations can partner with an eligible applicant.  

Two award rounds are anticipated, with deadlines of October 17 and December 19, with fund use being available until September 2022. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of parents, educators, students, education leaders and community members appointed by the governor. 

Find more information on the full application and rubric here.

Jacqueline Tiwonge Nkhonjera

About Jacqueline Tiwonge Nkhonjera

Jacqueline Nkhonjera is the Communications and Advocacy Fellow for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. In this role, she supports strategic advocacy and communications tactics. This includes digital and print communications as well as community outreach and engagement. Before coming to the Children’s Campaign, Jacqueline worked as a public policy fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado, and as a journalist at the National Public Radio (NPR) Education Desk. She graduated from Colorado College in May of 2020 with a degree in Political Science.