Program Description

The RLIS program provides funds to rural, K-12 local education agencies (LEAs) that serve large numbers low-income students. The program was created to help rural LEAs increase student academic achievement and meet their State's definition of adequate yearly progress. RLIS grant funds are used to support allowable activities authorized under the school improvement "Title" programs within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. LEAs eligible for the RLIS program are concentrated in the southern states and generally tend to be county-wide districts that serve multiple communities spread across large geographic areas that are sparsely populated. Under RLIS, the Department makes allocations directly to State Educational Agencies (SEAs), which in turn make sub-grants to eligible LEAs. By statute, the Bureau of Indian Affairs receives an allocation equal to one-half of 1 percent of the amount available for the program; one-half of 1 percent of the amount available also is allocated to the Outlying Areas (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas, and Virgin Islands). An SEA may reserve up to 5 percent of its RLIS award to pay the costs of administering the program and to provide technical assistance to participating LEAs. SEAs must allocate at least 95 percent of their RLIS award funds to eligible LEAs.

General Program Requirements

A local education agency (LEA) is eligible for an RLIS grant if:

  1. 20% or more of the children served by the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line; and
  2. All of the schools served by the LEA are designated with a National Center for Education Statistics school locale code of 6 (small town), 7 (rural outside a Core-Based Statistical Area), or 8 (rural inside a Core-Based Statistical Area).

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

Contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for specifics regarding applications and/or awarding of the RLIS set-aside funds allocated to BIA.

Program Contact Information

Eric L. Schulz
REAP Team Leader
eric.schulz@ed.gov
(202) 260-7349

Additional Information

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number84.358-B
Current Method of Tribal EligibilitySet Aside; Part of Broader Program
Can the funding from the program be renewedYes
Funding TypeMandatory
Entities Eligible for Grant AssistanceFederally Recognized Tribes and Tribal Organizations
Matching Funds RequiredNo
Number of People Served by this Program (Approximate)3.8 million students in 43 states
Length of Program1 year (annual set-aside)
Recurring Base Funding for TribesNo
Do Tribes compete with other entities for funding from the program?No

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