The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) plans to distribute $25 million in grants up to $500,000 to school districts for school facility security renovations, enhancements and expansions. At least half of the grants need to go to rural school districts.

MDE will distribute the application materials July 16 and begin receiving applications Aug. 29. MDE will announce the awards by Sept. 28.

MREA supported House Education Chair Jenifer Loon when she introduced this bill in 2017 and thanks her for her efforts.  MREA thanks House Capital Investment Chair Dean Urdahl for including these cash grants in the bonding bill.

Who’s Eligible

Interested school districts, charter schools, intermediates, and cooperatives must submit separate applications for each school site for grants of up to $500,000 each. The funds may be used to predesign, design, construct, furnish, and equip school facilities and includes renovating and expanding existing buildings.

What’s Eligible

The grants must be used to complete projects that do not currently have funding. The grants are funded on a reimbursement basis, and all reimbursable expenses must be incurred after the grant is awarded and the agreement is fully executed. No money can be distributed to the recipient until they have received bids on 100 percent of the project and sufficient documentation has been provided to the commissioner that the project can be fully completed with the money available.

Awarding Criteria

The grants will be awarded based on meeting criteria to be set by the commissioner, in collaboration with the School Safety Center at the Department of Public Safety, and on a first-come, first-serve basis. It is strongly recommended to submit your applications on the first day applications are accepted. The application process will be done on an online system.

Key Dates

The projected timeline for the applications and awards are as follows:

  • July 16: MDE distributes the application materials and FAQ to go out to all school districts, charter schools, intermediates, and cooperatives.
  • Late July-Early August: MDE hosts a webinar to provide information responsive to inquiries and walk through the online application system.
  • Aug. 29: MDE begins accepting applications through the online system.
  • Sept. 28: MDE announces awards.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact