The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) through the Office of Statewide Broadband (OSB) is administering funding for the Maryland Emergency Education Relief Grant Program (MEER).
The OSB’s MEER program is a grant opportunity to further the state’s efforts in helping schools, libraries and other anchor institutions provide the tools and services their communities need for educational purposes. This grant opportunity is designed to provide relief to K-12 students and related school staff to close the gap for students who lack necessary internet access or the devices they need to connect to classrooms.
This NOFA pertains only to the funding allocation for MEER and provides a preview of the application which will be available online at: https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Broadband/Pages/Provider-Resources.aspx.
Applicant Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible to apply, an applicant must meet one of the following criteria:
- Elementary/Middle/High school: a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public K-12 charter school, that provides elementary/middle/high school education, as determined under state law.
- Secondary school: a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public secondary charter school, that provides secondary education, as determined under state law except that the term does not include any education beyond grade 12.
- Public Library offering schoolwork/homework programs for K-12 students.
- Community Centers offering schoolwork/homework programs for K-12 students.
Eligible Uses of Funds
Funding may be requested under two categories:
Equipment - Eligible equipment includes, but is not limited to:
- Wireless access points;
- Wi-Fi hotspots;
- Modems (including air cards);
- Routers, devices that combine a modem and router;
- Signal amplifiers/extender;
- Connected devices (laptop and tablet computers for use solely within the purchasing institution).
Service – Eligible service includes:
- Internet services to a school, library, or community centers necessary to provide student connectivity;
- Internet service costs covered by E-rate or similar funding are not eligible for reimbursement.
- Services that deliver internet access within schools and libraries (internal connections, basic maintenance of internal connections, and managed internal broadband services);
- Construction of new networks to provide remote learning and the equipment needed for data casting services (only if the institution can demonstrate it has no existing available service options sufficient to support remote learning).
- Installation, activation, and initial configuration costs, taxes, shipping charges, and other reasonable fees incurred with the purchase of the eligible equipment and services.
While the grant program and its funding offer the ability to serve all K-12 students in Maryland the following covered populations are identified as most at need:
- Economically disadvantaged students;
- Vulnerable children (students who often encounter challenges in receiving a quality and equitable education. Vulnerable youth may face many barriers, including traumatization, high mobility, and undiagnosed behavioral and health conditions.);
- Students who might have chronic conditions; and
- Students who do not have other access to the internet.
The maximum grant request amount is $350,000 per application and the minimum amount is $50,000.
Funding will be provided for qualifying
expenses and projects completed between September 1, 2021 and September 15, 2022. Applicants may apply for multiple projects. While not required, we highly encourage applicants to identify other funding sources to leverage the available grant funding.
Only applications that are fully complete at submission will be considered for funding.
- The MEER grant program is a competitive funding opportunity and individual grant amounts may be reduced relative to requests and/or based on the impact of the applicant’s intended population and ability to deploy funds responsibly and as soon as possible.
- NOFA release: Wednesday, April 20, 2022
- Application submission to OSB via email opens: Wednesday, April 20, 2022
- Application submission closes: Friday, May 20, 2022
- Funding announcements to be made on or before June 17, 2022.
All applications and supporting documents must be submitted via email to:
In addition to basic organizational information and completion of the application form, the following information and attachments will be required in order for an application to be considered complete.
Executive Summary: The executive summary should provide a brief, comprehensive summary of the overall project, the needs of the population to be served and how the funding will contribute to a solution. The executive summary will additionally require the following information:
- Project Overview;
- Potential barriers;
- Partners and local engagement;
- Intended outcomes and metrics;
- Statement of experience and past accomplishments;
- Network Design;
- Community Profile;
Funding scope & budget: A scope of work related to the funding must be provided. The scope of work should be specific to the funding requested. Include a simple budget that illustrates how you plan to spend the funding. The budget should be in the following categories:
- Operations (payroll, supplies, materials etc.)
- Contracted services (payments to independent contractors, external organizations, etc.)
- Travel (must be related to program deployment)
- Please also include any other funding necessary for the project including the anticipated source of the funds.
All of the following attachments
will be required in the application submission in order for the application to be considered complete:
- Completed & signed Application Form
- Application requirements as mentioned above
- IRS Determination Letter of nonprofit status (if applicable)
- Official State of Maryland Good Standing Certificate filed stamped within 60 days of date of application (if applicable)
- IRS W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Form
- Dun & Bradstreet DUNS Number for your organization
- Unique Entity ID from