GPS Fund Planning Grant – Upcoming Deadline on September 15, 2021

Good Afternoon ESP Leaders,

The process for a grant from NEA’s Center for Great Public Schools is now two-fold. The first part of that process is applying for the planning grant. That application is due September 15, 2021. It’s not too early to think about the possibilities, and strategize this summer, so that you can have the application ready to go in September. For your convenience, I have both attached the explanatory memo, and pasted it below. Please share with other ESP locals in your state.


TO:                  State Executive Directors

State Presidents

FROM:            Andy Coons, Senior Director, NEA Center for Great Public Schools

                        David Boyd, Manager, NEA Center for Great Public Schools

DATE:             May 11, 2021

RE:                  GPS Fund Planning Grant – Upcoming Deadline on September 15, 2021

Upcoming Deadline – September 15, 2021:

In February 2020, the NEA Board of Directors approved updated GPS Fund Grant Guidelines.  The new 2-step process includes the following highlights:


a)       Submission of a Planning Grant application begins the process. The deadline for submission of a Planning Grant application is no later than September 15th of each year.

b)      Planning Grant awards will be made by the Oversight Committee and decisions will be communicated no later than October 15th           of each year.

c)       Any chartered state or local NEA Affiliates as defined in the NEA Bylaws (Section 8) may apply for a Planning Grant. Applications submitted by or on behalf of individuals, external organizations, or non-Active NEA membership categories not contributing to the Special Fund (see Section 2.7, NEA Bylaws) will not be considered.


a)       Affiliates that are awarded Planning Grants are eligible to submit a full GPS Fund application no later than February 1st.

b)      GPS Fund Grant award decisions will be communicated no later than April 1st of each year.

c)       GPS Fund Grants totaling less than $50,000 (over the term of the proposal) are not eligible for award, with a max award of $250,000 annually over 3 years.

Information on the GPS Fund grant program, including guidelines and the application link can be found at nea.orghttps://www.nea.org/student-success/great-public-schools/gps-fund-grants.

Resources for Affiliates:

Resource 1:                  Webinar – “Interested in a NEA GPS Fund Planning Grant?”

Date and Time:            Wednesday,June 2nd from 2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern

Audience:                    State and Local Affiliates of NEA

Purpose:                      To discuss the basics and timing of the Planning Grant process, and allow for any questions

Link to Zoom:             https://zoom.us/j/9849910572?pwd=ejFpd011WmlJeS93dmRYRGx6a0lZQT09

Meeting ID: 984 991 0572

Passcode: 12345

(Dial-in Option: 301-715-8592)

Resource 2:                  Planning Grant Preparation and Support Packet (Word doc)

Audience:                    State and Local Affiliates of NEA

Purpose:                      To provide Affiliates with a written guide to the Planning Grant process and application

Link to Document:      Click here

Priority Focus Areas:

The GPS Fund Grant Oversight Committee continues its use of a “Priority Focus” for grant applications.  This protocol gives a small scoring bonus to applications that focus on select NEA organizational priorities.  For the upcoming application deadline, the Priority Focus will continue to include:

1)      Early Career Educators, and/or

2)      Racial Justice in Education

Your application can choose to focus on either area, both areas, or none of the above.  By including one or both of the focus areas, your application will receive a small scoring bonus (depending on how robust and extensive that focus is).  Focusing on both early career educators and racial justice in education will increase your bonus opportunity (compared to focusing on just one).


Please send any general GPS Fund Program inquiries to GPSFund-PF@nea.org.