Grants & Scholarships
Educational Innovation GrantSDEA/NEA State ESP of the Year AwardSDEA/NEA Human and Civil Right Awards (SuAnne Big Crow Award & Taking a Stand Award)SDEA/NEA Friend of Education AwardGordon Horgen Scholarship

The South Dakota Education Association/NEA is calling for applications for the new Gordon Horgen Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded to Native American students who are planning on entering the teaching profession. This scholarship was created by the 2014 Representative Assembly to honor the late Gordon Horgen from Winner.

Throughout his 41 years as a science teacher, Gordon Horgen was an advocate for all students. He wanted to help them succeed at their highest potential and capability. To better understand the Native American Culture, he attended multiple workshops on the USD campus in Vermillion and attended another two-day workshop with Native American instructors and guest speakers in Mission, SD. Additionally, Gordon was always open for dialog with parents and community leaders. Gordon used these experiences to incorporate more hands-on examples and experiments into his science courses and related various complex scientific theories to things more readily observed in nature. Gordon’s advocacy was also evident in his teaching Sinte Gleska College Classes at night for over ten years in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s in his classroom at Winner High School.

The Association may annually award up to four $750 scholarships for each academic year.  The scholarships are open to Native American high school seniors or college sophomores who are planning on going into the teaching profession. 

Apply »
Ramia Boersma Scholarship
The South Dakota Education Association/NEA awards scholarships to outstanding students who are planning on entering the teaching profession. The Association may annually award up to three $750 scholarships for each academic year.

Must be submitted by February 15.

Apply »
Honored Women Educators of South Dakota (Annie D. Tallent Club 1954-1993)
Download Nomination Form »

The purpose of HWE of South Dakota is to recognize outstanding South Dakota women educators and to promise better relationships among women engaged in educational work.

Nominees should have worked in the field of education in South Dakota for a minimum of ten years. Be active members of SDEA/NEA (if retired, they should have been active members during their teaching careers), be fully qualified educationally for their field of work, and have made major contributions in the area of education. Nominees also should have been active in their communities and exhibit character traits worthy of the honor of membership.

Deadline for Nomination is May 1

Please Do not divulge the nominations to the nominee. Send the nomination forms and letters of recommendation to:
Ralyna Schilling
1209 Ridge Road
Mitchell SD 57301

Notice of Eligibility
Nominees for the Honored Women Educators of South Dakota must:
  1. Be active in education at present and a member of SDEA. Or, if retired, the nominee must have been an SDEA member during her active career. Preference is given to active members.
  2. Have a minimum of four years of college.
  3. Should have spent at least ten years in the field of education.
Eligibility: Eligible for membership are classroom teachers, principals, superintendents, librarians, supervisors, rural school teachers and former educators.

Note: Several letters of recommendation from other educators should accompany the nomination forms.
Remember: The woman you are nominating should NOT be told of her nomination.
State and National Grant Opportunities for Local Affiliates
There are several opportunities for local affiliates to partner with SDEA and the NEA to build a stronger association at the local level.  Through SDEA/NEA partnership grants, local affiliates can develop projects that will build organizing capacity for years to come. Here is your one-stop shop for the current grant opportunities for local leaders to explore.

SDEA Local Association Grants
Local associations may apply for grant dollars for projects that will enable the local affiliate to implement one or more of the strategic goals of the SDEA/NEA.

SDEA Board Policy 2.7 (PDF)
Local Association Grant Proposal Form (PDF)
Local Association Grant Evaluation Form (PDF)

Safe and Just Schools Partnership Funding
The Safe and Just Schools Partnership Funding to Affiliates and Chapters who demonstrate commitment and capacity to implement and explore initiatives and partnerships to dismantle systemic inequities and unjust education practices that hinder healthy, safe, and just learning and working environments for each and every student, educator, or public employee in their worksites and communities.

Click here to submit your Safe and Just Schools Partnership Funding application. For questions, please email

Legislative Crisis
The Campaigns and Elections Department has resources available to assist state affiliates facing legislation that will create a significant crisis for the state affiliate and our members.

Check back for deadlines to apply for a Legislative Crisis Grant. For questions, please email

Ballot Measure
The Campaigns and Elections Department has resources available to assist state affiliates facing ballot measures that will impact our members.

Check back for deadlines to apply for Ballot Measure Grant. For questions, please email

The Center for Organizing has resources available in support of strategic organizing projects that are developed collaboratively between state affiliate leadership, affected locals and NEA. The resources include training, coaching, convening or workshop costs, and direct resources. These resources are designed for projects that promote or advance the NEA Strategic Goals while building capacity to engage and recruit members to lead on issues affecting their professional practice and equity of resources and opportunities for all students.

Apply for an Organizing Grant.

Contact your Zone Director with Questions.

Center for Great Public Schools State & Local Project Grants
The National Education Association’s (NEA) Center for Great Public Schools announces the availability of State & Local Project Grants for Affiliates to develop and support practices and resources that promote a quality education profession; that incubate sound practices and gather key learnings that aid student success; and that promote a system that establishes the value of a quality, professionalized educator workforce and the role of the Association in creating and sustaining a system of professional supports.

Grant topics focus on the following two key education profession levers:

  • Family/Community Partnerships:  These grants are designed to develop, implement, or support programs that engage communities in improving the educational attainment and success of all children, particularly children of color or underserved youth in economically deprived communities.
  • Supporting Educators Across the Career Continuum:  The focus of these grants is to assist Affiliate engagement in programs and activities designed to support all educators across their career continuum to ensure student success.  Within this focus, a priority is given to supporting the retention and professional success of educators of color.. 

Typically, funded grant requests range from $3,000 to $25,000 over a 1-year period.

To review the grant guidelines or begin your application, please click here.
Rolling deadline throughout the year, contingent upon available funding.
For questions, please email

Great Public Schools Fund (GPS Fund)
The NEA’s Great Public Schools Fund Grants (GPS Fund Grants) advance the goal of great public schools for every student. GPS Fund Grants are intended to help NEA State and Local Affiliates enhance the quality of public education by developing, implementing and leading an agenda that engages members with an emphasis on student-centered success and well-being through union-led efforts.

Learn more about the GPS Fund Grants and the September 15, 2020 deadline for the Planning Grant.

Local President Release Time Program (LPRTP)
The NEA established the Local President Release Time Program to encourage the growth and development of NEA’s local associations. The program’s objective has been to provide financial assistance towards the full-time or part-time release of local presidents to encourage growth and strength in our local associations.  The presence of a full-time or part-time release local president will add to the effectiveness in which the locals can contribute to NEA’s Strategic Priorities.

Learn more about the Local President Release Time Grant

Organizing in Urban Locals
NEA's C40 Urban Grant funding can be used to support your local's efforts to increase membership and build its power by identifying issues, strengthening worksite leader systems and structures, and implementing organizing campaigns.

Find our online application/template, evaluation, and guidelines forms here, or email with questions.

Retired Organizing
Each year the NEA Center for Organizing, in collaboration with NEA-Retired, awards State Organizing Grants to State Retired entities. 

Grants must be used for Membership Recruitment ,Organizing New Retired Locals, Retired Organizing Projects, Creating Retired Activists, Developing Retired Leaders , Developing and Strengthening Community Partnerships.

The application deadline is August 15. Find our online application/template, evaluation, and guidelines forms here. For questions, please email

Student-Centered Bargaining and Advocacy
NEA’s Collective Bargaining and Member Advocacy Department (CBMA) will be awarding grants to affiliates to design and implement student-centered initiatives through collective bargaining or other forms of advocacy. Affiliates have used these grants to:
  • Unite educators with parents, communities, and students to advocate and bargain for the schools that students deserve.
  • Open up negotiations and make collective bargaining a more transparent process.
  • Advocate for students away from the bargaining table.
  • Join the Red for Ed movement to improve educator pay, preserve health care and pensions, increase education funding, and achieve student-centered victories through collective bargaining and other forms advocacy.
  • Bargain for the Common Good.

Find our online application form, FAQs, and student-centered advocacy attributes document here. For questions, please email

ESSA/Educator Voice Local Grants
As the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) continues to be implemented throughout the country, NEA’s My School My Voice (MSMV) program aims to ensure that educators are making key teaching and learning decisions affecting students.

Educators’ voices and those of families and students are critical to ensuring great public schools. NEA’s MSMV grants support local affiliates as they engage educators in advocating for equity in public schools. To that end, the MSMV grants support local affiliates in encouraging all educators to participate in the work of their association. 

The MSMV grants can fund programmatic work that amplifies educator voice to achieve policy and/or practice wins, or to build and strengthen collaborative structures to support student learning. Examples of qualifying projects include:

  • supporting local activities that identify access and opportunity gaps and move toward sustainable solutions;
  • building coalitions and leveraging existing partnerships that support educators driving decisions in local ESSA implementation efforts;
  • engaging members and non-members in working to ensure local ESSA implementation plans include educator voices, as well as those of other key stakeholders;
  • moving local priorities for winning policies that incorporate educator voice to create opportunities for all students to succeed.

Find our online application/template and guidelines here.

Aspiring Educators CREATE Grants 
State Aspiring Educators (AE) organizations and campus chapters are eligible to apply for CREATE grants.  These grants of up to $2000 should strengthen the AE Program and build stronger partnerships.  Grants should also have a primary focus in one of the areas aligned with AE Core Values:
  • EDUCATOR QUALITY – Projects involving preparation for professional practice, strengthening educator preparation programs, and/or support for career preparation and advancement
  • COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT – Projects involving partnerships with P-12 schools, local organizations, and other community-based involvement
  • POLITICAL ACTION – Projects involving advocacy for policies, legislation, and political issues with an impact on education
  • SOCIAL JUSTICE – Projects involving social justice issues activism and/or that contribute to the development of aspiring educator knowledge, skills, and dispositions as culturally responsive educators.

Submission deadlines occur twice each year - October 15 and February 1.  For assistance with grant applications, contact  Click here for the online CREATE Grant application.

State Media Assistance Program
State Association Media Grants are intended to advance the cause of public education and publicize the role of the Association and its Affiliates in improving the quality of public education. The State Media Grants proactively advance the Association’s mission through image and reputation campaigns that strengthen the Association’s image among key audiences and the public.

Upcoming submission deadlines are October 23, 2020 and April 16, 2021. Click here to access the application. For questions, please email

Community Advocacy and Partnership Engagement Grant
The NEA Community Advocacy & Partnership Engagement (CAPE) Department provides state and local partnership funding grants that are intended to assist state/local affiliates to identify, engage, and mobilize community organizations and community leaders around increasing student achievement (specifically for students of color), engaging members who have participated in leadership trainings, and creating union roles to build capacity to engage community partners.

Grant considerations are made on the following strategic priorities:

  • Initiatives to improve student achievement, particularly in communities of color;
  • Engaging NEA members who have been trained in NEA’s leadership trainings or those who have a demonstrated record of activism for the purpose of furthering social justice activism and/or professional issues activism;
  • Establishing or institutionalizing new union roles related to parent and/or community engagement;
  • Focus on advancing NEA’s priority on racial justice in education.

The application deadline is December 22, 2022Click here to submit your CAPE Partnership Funding Application, or for questions, please email 

Center for Social Justice - Racial Justice in Education Grant
The NEA Human and Civil Rights (HCR) Department coordinates and administers the Center for Social Justice (CSJ) funding grants to state and local affiliates to further drive the core strategies of the racial justice in education work: Awareness, Capacity-Building, and Action. 

Racial Justice in Education Grant considerations are made inclusive of the following strategic outcomes:

  • Explicitly addresses racial equity and justice (fairness and justice across racial groups) and the elimination of racism (racial inequities, disparities and bias) in its goals and plans.
  • Deliberate strategies to develop and expand the leadership of people of color; including new teachers of color and other stakeholders of color.
  • Specific activities that build connections and solidarity across different racial groups-- internally and externally--to expand multiracial unity and power.
  • Organizational change, development and transformation strategies and activities.

Grant funding applications can be submitted on a rolling basis between October 3, 2020 and May 31, 2023. Click here to submit your Racial Justice in Education Grant Application. For questions, please email

State and National Grants Opportunities for Members
SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation Grant
The SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation Grant Program provides grants to members in support of innovative educational and student-oriented projects. The grant program funds new member-led projects. It does not fund projects on an on-going basis. The SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation Grants give preference to proposals that address student achievement, cultural diversity issues, include community partnerships, and can be duplicated by others.

To apply click HERE:

The NEA Foundation Grants
The NEA Foundation awards grants of up to $5,000 exclusively to NEA members to enhance teaching and learning:
  • Student Achievement Grants support initiatives that improve academic achievement.
  • Learning & Leadership Grants support high-quality professional development.

Active NEA members who are practicing K-12 public school teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty and staff at public colleges and universities may apply online. Preference is currently being given to projects that incorporate STEM and/or global learning, as well as projects with leads/partners that are education support professionals. For information about how to apply visit The NEA Foundation's web site.

Application deadlines are: February 1, June 1, and October 15.

The NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship
Deadline: Winter

The NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship offers educators 12 months of professional development opportunities and a nine-day international field study to support educators as they cultivate global competence skills and build global lesson plans that are shared with educators around the world. Active NEA members who are current K-12 classroom teachers are eligible to apply. Teachers with five or more years of classroom experience will be given preference.

By participating in the Global Learning Fellowship program, educators have an opportunity to lead the profession by acquiring the necessary skills to integrate global competence into their daily classroom instruction, advance pedagogy in their school and district, and prepare students to thrive in the flattened global age. For information about how to apply, the application, and frequently asked questions, visit The NEA Foundation's website.

Applications Open: Fall



open all