Grants Program

Since 2003, special educators in Marin County public schools have been eligible to apply for grants to purchase materials and equipment to improve access and learning opportunities for our students. Our grants program looks to fund projects that address one or more of these basic learning areas: Communication, Literacy, Curriculum (Adaptation and Access), and Technology (using technology to enhance or expand learning opportunities).

The grant application for 22-23 is open, deadline is Friday October 28, 2022 at 5 PM. Educators should contact grants@specialed.org to obtain the link to the application.
Classroom Grants

 Special educators throughout Marin are eligible to apply for funding up to $2500 to purchase the tools, technology, and teaching materials they need in order to provide their students access to learning opportunities.


All applicants must be special educators employed by and working in Marin County public schools (Special Day Class Teachers, Resource Teachers, Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists). 100% of their students must have IEP’s.  

What is not eligible?

We no longer purchase equipment that is considered standard for classrooms. including replacement of old equipment and equipment that is included in any student’s IEP. These should be provided by the district, as required by law. We do not fund experiential grants, including fees for consultants or major construction, furniture, or field trips.


Grants applications are open in the fall and grants are awarded by December. Watch for announcements about the application window. Please email us if you are a Marin County public school special educator and have not received an application link.

Innovation Grants

There are many exciting new tools and strategies being developed today and we want to bring them to our students. Technology moves quickly, and it is often impossible for individual schools to keep up, given the pace of budget allocation and other considerations. DSE is nimble enough to be able to act quickly on great ideas, and our Site Innovation Grants enables us to pilot new, big ideas that have the potential to reach far beyond the initial school or district site implementation. Site Innovation Grants can be anywhere from $5,000 to $75,000 in a given year. We may fund only one project or a dozen.


All applicants must be special educators employed by and working in Marin County public schools (Special Day Class Teachers, Resource Teachers, Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists). 100% of their students must have IEP’s.  

Each application must include a Grant Team – a group of educators, administrators, technology and vendor personnel – who will implement the project. Each Site Innovation Grant must fall into one of these categories:

  • Individual school site – where a number of special educators collaborate on a project or implementation.
  • One district that covers more than one school site
  • A number of districts and school sites
  • Projects that involve technology must have an IT team member ready to be interviewed by our IT team prior to our approval meeting to ensure your site/s are capable of supporting your project.

Evaluation of the Grant

We want to encourage “outside-the-box” thinking, to promote change by giving ideas a chance to impact learning in a way that is creative and innovative, yet meaningful and effective. Our goal is to increase learning opportunities by funding alternative, experimental, and innovative tools and curriculum for students with special needs. We are looking for proposals that will:

  • Expand the breadth and/or depth of curriculum accessible to IEP students
  • Streamline and/or make the delivery of special education more effective and efficient.

Given the scale of the funding possibilities, these grants will require more rigorous participation from applicants. Our review committee will be conducting on-site interviews to determine the readiness of the grant team and school site to implement if the application is approved. If your team submits a great idea, and yet the proposal hasn’t been developed enough, we will work with you to give it a better chance of approval. Factors the committee will consider include:

  • The scope of the project – numbers of students impacted
  • Novelty of the approach
  • Demonstration of ability to implement
  • Ability to evaluate, both quantitatively and qualitatively, student achievement


You may submit your application any time before the deadline, generally early December of the school year.  Note, THIS IS DIFFERENT from the Classroom Grant schedule. 

How to Apply

  1. Download the Site Innovation Grant Application document to your desktop computer:   Site Innovation Grant Application Form (WORD)
  1. OPEN the application on your computer, it should work with MS Word and with Pages).
  2. COMPLETE the application, or otherwise provide all the information requested. Incomplete applications will be returned to you if there is time before the deadline for submitting.
  3. SAVE the application to your computer renaming it for the last name of the person submitting, “Jones-DSE-Site-Innovation-Application.docx”.
  4. EMAIL the completed application to us. Attach your MS Word or a pdf of your application in the email.



grants awarded since 2008

Years Established

Get In Touch

Dedication to Special Education
c/o Marin County Office of Education
PO Box 4925
San Rafael, CA 94913

Phone: (415) 491-6636
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