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Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Program Applications Now Available

The Department of Education announced today that the application package for the 2008 Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (LSL) program competition is now available.  Application information is available at the Department of Education’s website.

Eligible applicants include local educational agencies (LEAs) in which at least 20 percent of the students served are from families with incomes below the poverty line, based on the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Information on the poverty level in each district can be found at: http://www.ed.gov/programs/lsl/eligibility.html. Due to a decrease in fiscal year (FY) 2008 funding, approximately $18.5 million will be available for funding, and only an estimated 80 grants will be awarded under the FY 2008 competition.  The deadline for applications is March 7, 2008.

It is important to note that Improving Literacy Through School Libraries applicants must use the U.S. Federal Government’s Grants.gov applications system to apply. Instructions for registering can be found at www.grants.gov.

If you have expressed interest in applying for the LSL program but were told by the U.S. Department of Education that your district is not eligible, you need to let your Representative or Senators know IMMEDIATELY. Currently, only school districts in which 20 percent of the students served are from families with incomes below the poverty line are eligible to apply.  When funds are equal to or more than $100 million, the program will be distributed as formula grants to ALL state departments of education.

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Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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