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Aurora Institute

Federal Government Makes Historic Investments for FY 2022 for the Competitive Grants for State Assessments Program: Legislative Update

Education Domain Blog

Author(s): Susan Patrick

Issue(s): Federal Policy, Create Space to Pilot Systems of Assessments

Update as of 4/7/22:

In March 2022, Congress passed, and the President signed, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, which provides a total of up to $20.9 million for competitive grants for State assessments for FY 2022, an amount significantly larger than what was estimated in the NIA. These FY 2022 funds are in addition to the $8,900,000 available from the FY 2021 appropriation. To give applicants more time to prepare and submit applications in light of the increased appropriation, ED is extending the deadline date for transmittal of applications to May 3rd, 2022. States that have already submitted can also decide to resubmit if they choose given the new grant funds available (though it’s not required to do so).


Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

On March 15, 2022, the final Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act, funding state assessments at $390 million, $12 million over FY 2021 was signed into law. This increase in appropriations includes $21 million for the Competitive Grants for State Assessments (CGSA) Program. We thank Congress and the Administration for prioritizing this key issue in our education systems.

The Aurora Institute strongly supports this historic investment the CGSA program to advance student-centered learning and support competency-based education. We worked closely with key policy makers and other thought leaders in this space to ensure that states have the opportunity to pursue innovative assessment approaches that reflect the needs of all students, families and educators.

About the FY 2022 CGSA Program

The Department of Education’s (ED) notice inviting applications for new awards for the FY 2022 CGSA program includes two absolute priorities, meaning that applicants must address one or both of these priorities. The priorities are: (1) measure student academic achievement using multiple measures of student academic achievement; and (2) evaluate student academic achievement through the development of comprehensive academic assessment that emphasize the mastery of standards and aligned competencies in a competency-based education model.

In the notice, the estimated available funds were $17.711 million based on the combined FY 2021 appropriations ($8.9 million) and the Administration’s FY 2022 budget request for new awards ($8.9 million). However, since the FY 2022 appropriations provided $12 million more (funding is now at $21 million), ED will now be able to award more states, or consortia of states, grant funding to enhance their assessment systems. The Aurora Institute estimates that there will be nearly $29 million for awards. States have until May 3rd to apply for funds for the Competitive Grants for State Assessments.

The Aurora Institute encourages states to apply to this unique opportunity to advance innovative assessments and support competency-based education.

We are excited to share this information on funding to further developing innovative assessment approaches such as competency-based education pathways. We look forward to continuing to work with states and the Federal government to continue to consider recommendations to advance breakthrough policies and practices to advance high-quality learning for all. This includes systems change, building capacity for competency-based education systems, and strategies to improve our assessments to focus on the important role it plays in improving teaching and learning.

Learn More:

For more help, please contact:

Susan Patrick, President & CEO, Aurora Institute
[email protected]