Title V - Rural Education Achievement Program


Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) provides additional funding for rural LEAs through two formula grant programs:

  • Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA)
  • Rural Low Income Schools (RLIS)

All LEAs eligible for these grants must apply annually.

Contact Information for SRSA and RLIS:
US Department of Education

Staci Cummins, Rural Education Achievement Program Officer
Phone: (202) 453-6504

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
Assistant Superintendent, Laurie Matzke
Phone: (701) 328-2284

Program Manager, Lisa Johnson
Phone: (701) 328-2824

Q & A

Q: What is the difference between the SRSA and RLIS Programs?

A: Both programs are designed to supplement funding to help rural districts increase student academic achievement
SRSA program provides funds to very small, rural districts and goes directly to districts from the USDE.
RLIS program targets rural districts that serve large numbers of low-income students and is granted out by the NDDPI.

Q: Is there a difference in how districts apply for these funds?

A: Yes, there is a difference in how these funds are applied for:
SRSA program:  an electronic application is submitted to the USDE who awards these grants directly to eligible districts.
RLIS program:  the USDE makes allocations to the NDDPI who in turn sub-grants to eligible districts. This is a manual application and grant award process. Depending on the number of districts applying for these funds, it may be on a competitive basis or by formula.

Q: Do districts need to apply every year for these funds?

A: Yes, eligible districts need to submit an application each fiscal year to receive either of these grant funds.

Q: When do districts need to apply?

A: The SRSA application approximately Mid-January to late March. The grants will be awarded in July.
The RLIS application period will be determined in July and information provided to eligible districts.

Q: Are there any additional requirements?

A: The SRSA application requires registration of DUNS number. This can be done on the System for Award Management (SAM) at www.sam.gov or by calling (866) 606-8220.

Q: Where do districts apply?

A: The SRSA application website is www.grants.gov.
The RLIS application process is manual and districts will be notified and sent the application and requirements by the Division of Student Support & Innovation.

Q: How do districts request grant funds?

A: Districts can access their REAP SRSA grant funds at www.g5.gov or by calling (888) 336-8930.
REAP RLIS funds can be accessed by using the SFN 14660 (Rev. 12/2016) Request for Funds submitted to the NDDPI.

Q: What are the requirements for a district to be SRSA eligible? 

A: A district must meet the following criteria:

  • A total average daily attendance (ADA) of fewer than 600 students or serve only schools that are located in counties with a population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile; and
  • Must serve only schools having a school locale code of 40, 42, or 43.

Q: What are the requirements for a district to be RLIS eligible? 

A: A district must meet the following criteria:

  • 20% or more of the children ages 5 to 17 served are from families with incomes below the poverty line; and
  • Must serve only schools having a school locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43.

Q: What are the requirements for a district to be DUAL eligible? 

A: Under NCLB, if a district was SRSA eligible, they could not be RLIS eligible. Under ESSA, as part of the reauthorization of Title V, Part B, an LEA that meets the eligibility criteria for both the SRSA program and the RLIS program (referred to as “dual eligible”) may choose to participate in either SRSA or RLIS.  Section 5225(b) requires an LEA with dual eligibility to notify the Department of its preference to participate in either SRSA or RLIS. An LEA with dual eligibility will notify the Department of its choice based on whether or not it submits an SRSA application.

If the dual eligible LEA applies for SRSA in accordance with the application submission procedures it will receive a SRSA award.

If the dual eligible LEA chooses not to submit an SRSA application or its application is not submitted in accordance with the application submission procedures, it will be included automatically in the list of RLIS-eligible LEAs the Department provides to SEAs.

The final list of RLIS eligible LEAs will be used to determine SEA RLIS allocation amounts. SEAs have the option to award RLIS grants to eligible LEAs on a competitive basis or according to a formula. 

Q: What does it mean when a district has Hold Harmless status? 

A: As part of the reauthorization of Title V, Part B of the ESEA, LEAs that were eligible and received an FY 2015 SRSA award, but are no longer SRSA-eligible because of amendments the ESSA made to the locale code designations, may continue to receive FY 2017, 2018, and 2019 SRSA awards at a reduced rate. LEAs that are not SRSA-eligible for other reasons will not receive an award.

Q: If my district is eligible and applies for these funds, will we automatically receive a grant?

A: No, there are more districts eligible for these programs nationwide than there are available funds. Applying for these funds is not a guarantee that a district will receive them.
To project your LEA’s SRSA supplemental allocation, you will need to know the LEA’s ADA, and the amount of Title IIA and Title IVA funding the LEA received 2 fiscal years prior. (Ex: for 2019-2020, use 17-18 allocations)
To Calculate:
Take the ADA
Subtract 50
Multiply the total by $100
Add $20,000 to the sum
(The total above is capped at $60,000)
Subtract the sum of the allocations received from Title II and IV
This will give your projected SRSA grant allocation for the year
The projected amount may be ratably reduced or increased, depending on the amount appropriated by Congress for the program and the number of eligible LEAs.

Q: What can these funds be used for?

A: These funds can be used for allowable Title activities under ESSA that will be defined in the consolidated application guidance for Title I, II, III, and IV which will be available in May 2017.

Q: If we are dual eligible, how do we determine which program we should apply for?

A: Local school districts need to make this decision; however, districts may want to consider applying for the SRA and if not awarded funds, consider applying for the RLIS.