Public and private programs sponsor grants to purchase or build educational facilities in communities around the United States. Grants may cover school construction and renovation projects as well as labor and administrative costs. Schools also use the funds to purchase materials and equipment and to make debt payments. Some grants do not cover entire project costs, and recipients must pay the remaining expenses with funds from other sources.

Toolbox for Education Program

The Toolbox for Education program, sponsored by Lowe’s, provides $5,000 grants to 1,000 schools each year to improve their facilities. Grants cover indoor and outdoor school facility enhancements and landscaping activities. Schools can use 10 percent of the funds for labor, consultation and installation costs. These grants are open to public nonprofit K-12 schools and parent association groups such as PTOs and PTAs that have nonprofit status. Schools cannot use these grants for scholarships, salaries, field trips or stipends.

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Program 1000 Lowe’s Blvd. Mooresville, NC 26115 1-800-644-3561

Community Facilities Grant Program

Grants funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finance school construction and renovation projects. Grants from this program pay for the construction and renovation of facilities used for public safety, health care and community services. Recipients also use grant funds to purchase equipment needed for facility operations. Municipalities, counties and local and tribal government entities as well as nonprofit organizations in areas of less than 20,000 residents can apply for these grants. Grant amounts are formula based; communities with smaller populations and lower income levels receive priority considerations. Organizations may use grant funds for up to 75 percent of the project costs.

Housing and Community Facilities Programs National Office U.S. Department of Agriculture Room 5014 South Building 14th St. and Independence Ave. S.W. Washington, DC 20250 202-720-9619

Charter Schools Facilities Grant

The U.S. Department of Education sponsors grants for entities to secure capital from private sources by having funds to insure bonds, loans and other forms of debt. Grant funds also cover administrative costs incurred by the recipients. Schools use funds obtained from the private sector for renovation and construction costs of charter school facilities and for the purchase or lease of real property. Private nonprofit entities and state and local government agencies can apply for these grants.

Ann Margaret Galiatsos Department of Education OII Parental Options and Information 400 Maryland Ave. S.W. Washington, DC 20202 202-205-9765