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Rural Education Fund (closed)

The Rural Education Fund (REF) provides traditional public schools, charter schools, and school districts located in counties with 35,000 or fewer residents up to $10,000 to use however they wish to drive student outcomes. The Rural Education Fund is made possible through the purchase of the “Educator” and “Support Education” license plates by Georgia resident, along with the support of an anonymous family foundation. The GFPE supports educational excellence for all of Georgia’s K-12 students.

Award Timeline

See the table below for the REF timeline.

Grant Application Opens

Grant Application Due

Reviewed and Announced

July 1, 2022

July 29, 2022


Eligibility Requirements

You are eligible to apply for a Rural Education Fund grant if:

  • Your school or district is located in a county in Georgia with fewer than 35,000 residents;
  • You are a school administrator, principal, or instructional coach at a charter school or traditional public school in the state of Georgia;
  • You are a K-12 teacher at a Georgia charter school or traditional public school who has been teaching for at least three years*; or
  • You are another type of leadership-level administrator in a Georgia LEA.
  • Only one submission per school is allowed. Schools submitting more than one application will automatically be removed from the applicant pool.

*If you are a teacher at a K-12 Georgia charter school or traditional public school, you must submit a Principal Certification Form along with your application. 

Allowable Expenses for the Rural Education Fund Grant

The Rural Education Fund will provide Georgia schools and school districts up to $10,000 over one year to implement programs that support student achievement and are based on data.

Some examples of how funding may be used includes, but is not limited to:

  • Virtual reality headsets that support literacy gains.
  • Art supplies and programming for all four schools in a school district.
  • After school STEM Club programming and field trips.
  • Coordinated district-wide PBIS programming.

Allowable expenses may include materials, equipment, staff time, etc. but must be tied directly to the outcomes you are trying to achieve.

Rural Education Fund grant recipients have up to one year from the grant award date to use their funds.

Grantee Expectations

Here are the expectations for Rural Education Fund grantees:

  • The Rural Education Fund grant will be awarded up front.
  • Rural Education Fund grantees are responsible for tracking the outcomes of the project or program. Grantees will submit two evaluation reports: a mid-year report and an end-of-year report. The evaluation reports are the grantee’s opportunity to share the project’s progress, outcomes, lessons learned, and best practices.
  • When appropriate, representatives from the GFPE may request an in-person or virtual site visit to observe the program/project.
  • Any media or social media posting must include the Georgia Foundation for Public Education’s logo, social media handles, and be shared with the GFPE.

Submission Instructions

To participate in the Rural Education Fund, please follow the steps below:

  1. Carefully review the guidelines, including the eligibility requirements and application components.
  2. Complete an application using the Rural Education Fund Application Portal.
  3. Submit your application online by July 29, 2022.

The GFPE strongly recommends that you thoroughly review the Rural Education Fund Rubric prior to completing the application to ensure you have a solid understanding of the application expectations.

If you have any questions during the application process, please contact:

Jaclyn Colona
Director of Grant Strategies


GFPE Grants

Grant Portal
Grant Portal
Grant Success

“Thank you so much for the grant that helped our program to be successful...We greatly look forward to next year and how we can expand our program to reach even more students. Again, thank you for your generous support.”  --Chandra Steele, Pike County Schools