Funding for Strengthening School Leadership
The Boston-based Barr Foundation seeks to support planning processes for groups of Massachusetts schools that result in locally relevant plans designed to ensure a high-quality principal in every school.
Principals have a significant impact on student achievement. According to the foundation, studies have shown that after teachers, principals have the second-highest in-school effect on student learning. In Massachusetts, the supply of principals with the necessary skills, vision, and profile is not meeting demand. In 2017, fifty-six percent of principals hired statewide had never held a principal position before, and high-poverty schools are even more likely to hire novice principals.
In order to more deeply understand the challenges of sourcing, supporting, and retaining capable school principals in Massachusetts, the foundation convened a working group comprised leaders of school districts, charter management organizations, state education agencies, principal training and development programs, and representatives from private foundations. This RFP builds on the working group’s findings as detailed in the report produced from the convening, Strengthening School Leadership in Massachusetts.
Over the course of approximately nine months, a cohort of grantees will engage in a process to better understand the components of strong school leadership, unpack unique local and/or regional challenges to such leadership, unearth and evaluate potential solutions, and develop a tangible course of action that addresses local needs and ensures a high-quality principal in every school. Grants of between $100,000 and $200,000, as well as technical assistance, will be awarded to up to five grantees.
To be eligible, applicants must be a single Massachusetts public school system (district or charter) spanning a total of at least three public high schools, or a single local education agency (district or charter), a partnership spanning multiple LEAs, or a partnership that includes an LEA(s) and independent schools. The lead applicant designated to receive the grant and drive the work must be an LEA that serves schools with a student body that is at least 50 percent high-need, as defined by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
See the Barr Foundation website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.