Monday, August 15, 2016

Assemblymember Michael Blake - My Brother's Keeper RFPs deadline approaching

The deadlines for the first two My Brother's Keeper Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are coming up soon. New York State's budget has allocated $20 million for My Brother's Keeper programs, and I know the 79th District is brimming with the talent and innovative approaches that the New York State Board of Regents is looking for in applications.  Please check below for additional information about these RFPs. 

The State Education Department (SED) is now accepting applications for $9 million in grants for two New York State My Brother’s Keeper Initiatives: the Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC) and the Family and Community Engagement Program.  These grant opportunities are available to develop programs and strategies to help boys and young men of color—and all students—realize their full potential.

In 2014, President Barack Obama established the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Task Force at the federal level. The Task Force was an interagency effort focused on closing and eliminating the opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color so that all young people have the chance to reach their full potential. With the adoption of the 2016–2017 New York State Budget, New York became the first state to accept the President’s challenge and enacted the My Brother’s Keeper initiative into law.  The budget included a $20 million investment in support of the initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color.  Among the programs included in the $20 million investment are TOC and Family and the Family and Community Engagement Program.

Teacher Opportunity Corp (TOC):
The purpose of TOC is to increase the participation rate of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in teaching careers.  SED seeks to invest $3 million in grant programs to bolster the retention of highly qualified individuals who value equity and reflect the diversity inside and outside of our classrooms, particularly in high-need schools with recurrent teacher shortages.

To be eligible, applicants must be a New York State-located public or independent degree-granting postsecondary institution that offers a teacher preparation program approved by the NY State Education Department.

Successful programs will incorporate proven strategies for teacher retention and best practice, such as providing mentors for new teachers and differentiated instructional techniques.  Applications must be received on or before August 22, 2016.  The Request for Proposals (RFP) for the grants is available at:

Family and Community Engagement Program:
The purpose of the Family and Community Engagement Program is to increase the academic achievement and college and career readiness of boys and young men of color and to develop and sustain effective relationships with families toward the goal of success for all students.  SED will award $6 million in grants for school districts, community-based organizations, and other groups to improve family engagement efforts in local communities.

These efforts could include parent advocacy, incorporating the use of mentors to improve student achievement, or creating outreach material in home languages so families can learn how to enhance school success for their children, beginning at the earliest ages, through high school and beyond.  Applications must be received on or before August 25, 2016.  The RFP for the grants is available at:

Details on New York’s MBK Initiative can be found here:

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