Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, if you are a self-contained classroom teacher responsible for teaching mathematics, science, and/or STEM, you can qualify for one Quality Science and Mathematics (QSM) award in either the mathematics or science category within a fiscal year.

To be eligible for a Quality Science and Mathematics (QSM) award, your proposal must align with the Louisiana Science and Mathematics Standards. Ensure that the materials or equipment you request directly align with either the Louisiana Student Standards for Science (LSSS) or the Louisiana Student Standards for Mathematics (LSSM).

Match your class goals and objectives with one of the following criteria:

  • Incorporate mathematical practices.
  • Integrate science and engineering practices.
  • Comply with district or state course guidelines for engineering, computer science, or STEM courses.

To enhance your QSM grant proposal's likelihood of approval, consider the following:

  • Provide a clear description of how students will utilize the materials in their classroom instruction.
  • Illustrate how students will integrate these materials into their activities, emphasizing the benefits to students rather than your role as the teacher.
  • Establish a connection between the requested supplies and activities and the applicable state standards.
  • Explain how the proposed materials and activities address students’ needs for skill enhancement, process comprehension, and knowledge expansion, aligning with your specified goals and objectives.

Ideally, your proposal should provide an accurate description of your specific students. However, if you lack specific information, you can begin by using data from your school population to illustrate how the requested materials will benefit students.

No, group submissions are not permitted, and they will result in disqualification.

No, it is not allowed. While multiple teachers in the same school may request the same materials, each applicant must create a distinct and unique proposal. Each teacher has the opportunity to submit one proposal for each grant round during a fiscal year, provided they have not already received a grant in the same fiscal year.

An application can be disqualified for the following reasons:

  1. Omitting or providing incomplete proposal component(s).
  2. Mentioning names, schools, parishes, districts, or towns in the responses to proposal questions or budget file.
  3. Failing to identify the funding source for QSM Ineligible Items necessary for project completion (if required).
  4. Including eligible items that exceed 10% essential consumables, consumables unrelated to the project, or typical classroom supplies.
  5. Not specifying a funding source for the QSM Eligible Items budget if the total exceeds award limitations (if required).
  6. Violating the state’s policy on confidential student data use or implying knowledge of assessment content beyond what has been provided by the governing agency.
    • For instance, including student names on reports violates student confidentiality laws, and including information that could only be obtained from reviewing individual items on a state assessment violates state policy.
  7. Presenting evidence of plagiarism, such as substituting synonyms for another individual's words while preserving sentence structure, mixing the individual’s words or phrases with the applicant’s paraphrasing, or using exact text from a company's product descriptions.

The maximum award amounts are as follows:

  • $1,000 for PK–2nd grade proposals.
  • $1,500 for 3rd–5th grade proposals.
  • $2,000 for 6th–12th grade proposals.

If your budget surpasses these limits, your application may be disqualified by the reviewer if they believe that the instructional goals and objectives cannot be met without the full list of materials. Please make it clear if your administrator has agreed to cover the remaining costs. This will help ensure that your application is still considered for approval.

If you find the materials you requested at a lower price after receiving the grant, you must reach out to the QSM Grant Administrator to explore alternative options. Prior approval is required before purchasing a larger quantity or different items than those initially outlined in your proposal.

Materials acquired with QSM funds belong to the school where they were purchased. If you move to a different teaching assignment within a public school, the principal has the authority to decide whether the materials remain with the school, are reassigned to another faculty member, or are allowed to accompany you to your new teaching role.

You can use QSM funds to acquire non-consumable materials and equipment. Nevertheless, it’s also permissible to purchase learning kits or bundles that include a few consumable items.

Your proposal should clearly articulate why you need the equipment and how it will benefit your students. For example, a calculator can be applied in various mathematics lessons.

Begin by explaining how the equipment aligns with multiple standards and enhances your students’ problem-solving skills. Concentrate on activities within a specific domain or module, and also highlight any potential alternative uses that support your instructional objectives and contribute to students’ learning outcomes.

No, software licenses and news subscriptions are categorized as consumables since they are subscription-based. However, there is an exception for perpetual-licensed software, which can be utilized indefinitely after purchase, provided it aligns directly with standards-based student instruction and activities as detailed in your proposal.

QSM funds are exclusively for purchasing materials and equipment intended for classroom instruction. Proposals for environmental science projects are acceptable as long as they are integrated into a specific course and align with the Louisiana Student Standards for Science (LSSS).

Typically, we announce award decisions within 30 days after the application cycle deadline. After you formally accept the award, we will send a check to your school within an additional 30 days.