Udall, Bennet Announce $17.4 Million Grant to Help Colorado Schools Boost Student Achievement

Competitive Grant will Fund System to Track Student Progress, Help Match Students with the Right Teacher, While Protecting Privacy

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet announced that Colorado has been awarded a $17.4 million grant to help schools do a better job than ever before at tracking student progress and helping determine the best educational opportunities to ensure every child can succeed.

The state longitudinal data systems (SLDS) grant will support the development and implementation of data systems to enable Colorado to examine student progress from early childhood into career, including matching teachers to students, while protecting student privacy and confidentiality consistent with applicable privacy protection laws. Last year, Congress expanded the program to include not only K-12 data systems, but also provide links with pre-K, postsecondary, and workforce data.

The funding was made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has a goal of helping improve educational opportunities to enable students to get on track for success in future careers.

“Every child deserves a chance to succeed, and to do that we need to help every student get the schooling that will enable them reach their full potential,” Senator Udall said. “Colorado has made great strides at helping boost student success. This grant will help our schools better meet students’ needs – by tracking their progress, enabling schools to match students with the right teachers and with classes that will help them reach their goals.”

“As a former school Superintendent, I know we can do better when it comes to public education,” Senator Bennet said. “We can start by empowering teachers – the people closest to our kids – by giving them the real time data they need to hone their craft and meet the needs of their students.”

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands applied for the grants, which were awarded to just 20 states. The grant awards were based on differing needs and requests. Colorado’s was the fourth largest grant. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Recovery Act website HERE.