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Astor RFP Frequently Asked Questions

Target Population & Schools

  1. Do RFP respondents have to be in at least 3 public schools?
    Applying organizations are required to serve students that attend at least 3 target public schools.  Reading programs that take place in out-of-school settings but draw children from target public schools meet the eligibility requirements.  

  2. Are programs targeting children in ACS licensed daycare (e.g., center-based or home-base) and Head Start eligible to apply for a grant from the Astor Fund?
    By “pre-kindergarten” we mean the year before kindergarten, not early childhood education or daycare.  Priority will be given to projects that serve students in pre-kindergarten to fifth grade attending NYC public schools.

  3. Would a proposal serving children from targeted schools in a home-based after school program settings qualify for funding?
    Programs that provide reading instruction in out-of-school settings to targeted students that meet the criteria included on page 4 of the RFP are eligible to apply.

  4. Would programs that serve a selection of children in charter schools qualify for Astor funding?
    Programs that serve a mix of students in public and charter schools are eligible to apply if a substantial majority of the children served by the project attend at least 3 traditional NYC public schools.  We do, however, draw your attention to the bullet points on page 4 of the RFP and to the Astor Fund’s emphasis on working with teachers and school leaders to create sustainable school change.

  5. Is it required that organizations that respond to this RFP include teachers or teacher training in their service delivery model? 
    Organizations applying for Astor funding are not required to provide professional development or training to teachers in the schools that target students attend. However, we draw your attention to the Astor Fund’s emphasis on working with teachers and school leaders to improve students’ reading skills as well as to create sustainable school change.

  6. Does supporting “novel practices” mean that the Astor Fund will support a project that has not yet been tested, but is based on sound research and ready to be implemented? 
    Yes, the Fund will consider a project that has not yet been tested but is based on sound research about teaching and learning reading in the early grades.

  7. Is it required that organizations work with more than one public school?  If so, can organizations work with two public schools that are co-located in the same building? 
    Yes, applying organizations are required to serve students from at least 3 public schools that have high concentrations of low-income children. Target schools could be co-located in the same building, or in different places. 

  8. Could a DOE division be eligible for Astor Funding? No, DOE divisions are not eligible for funding. Astor grants will be awarded to 501(c)3 organizations only.

Project Budget

  1. For expansion and replication grants, would the funds have to be solely used for programmatic expenses, or would expansion costs related to fundraising and development, personnel and benefits also be allowable?
    The project budget may reflect reasonable management/administrative expenses. Generally, such expenses should not be more than 15 percent of the total project budget.

  2. Under planning grants, what specific types of expenses would be considered “administrative resources”? Would technology costs such as tablet devices for intervention delivery be allowed?
    Administrative resources include organizational overhead. Technology expenses that are directly associated with planning activities would be considered a program cost and could be included in the budget as such. Note, however, that such costs should be reasonable in light of the overall cost of the overall.

  3. The RFP specifies that grantees must collaborate with an external evaluator selected by NYCT.  Does the grantee pay for that and therefore we must include it in our budget?  If so, how much should we allow?  
    No, grantees will not have to pay for the external evaluator that will be selected by The Trust.  Note, however, that grantees are expected to evaluate their own work, collect and analyze data about students’ reading progress, as well as document lessons learned for sharing with Fund grantees and other audiences.

Date of Grants Award Announcement

  1. Is there a timeline for awards?
    Grant awards are expected to be announced in December of 2013.

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