NEWS RELEASES 2017-18 :: JUNE 8, 2018


Nearly three-dozen school districts and charter schools across North Carolina will share $2.18 million in grant funding during the 2018-19 school year to advance digital-age teaching and learning through locally developed initiatives.

The State Board of Education this week approved the 33 proposals through a second round of competitive grants under the state’s Digital Learning Initiative. The state-funded grants support the development and dissemination of local innovative digital learning models. The goal of the grant program is to have effective digital learning practices spread across all North Carolina K-12 public schools.

The successful bids, representing every region in the state, were selected from 90 applications, up from the 61 proposals submitted for the first round of grants last fall.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson said the increasing interest in the grant program is a clear signal that districts and schools are eager to embrace digital teaching and learning for teachers and students.

“These promising initiatives will help North Carolina continue to innovate in the classroom and advance on its goal of providing all students with personalized, digital-age learning,” Johnson said. “Once these efforts show success for students, they can be scaled and replicated elsewhere in the state.”

The work of each grantee will focus on supporting the state’s digital learning competencies for educators and other initiatives such as micro-credentialing and digital literacies. Many of the approved grants focus on providing resources for professional development, seen as a critical foundation supporting the adoption of effective approaches to digital learning the state’s schools.

Grants were awarded for three different types of projects: planning, implementation and innovation academies.

A total of 10 planning grants were approved for eight districts and two charter schools, most for $50,000, for efforts ranging from improving professional development for teachers to developing an online library of effective personalized learning practices.

Nineteen districts were awarded two-year implementation grants, most for $75,000 for each of the two years, including an innovative partnership between two districts in the northeastern part of the state and the development of a published set of easily replicable standards-based mini projects that incorporate digital learning and other innovative learning approaches.

The four districts receiving the three-year innovation academy grants -- $100,000 per year for each – are leaders in the state in digital teaching and learning and will share their experience and knowledge with educators from other districts through model demonstration sites and ongoing professional development.

The grant initiative was authorized in 2016 by the General Assembly as part of collaboration between the State Board of Education and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at N.C. State University to advance the state’s Digital Learning Plan. The goal of that plan is to develop a long-term strategy that sets directions and priorities, supports innovation, and provides resources to enable educators and students to benefit fully from digital-age teaching and learning.

Go here for a list of grantees, and for more information about Digital Learning Initiative Grants, visit

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.