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Strong Families, Strong Students applications being accepted again

The Idaho State Board of Education says the applications for federal money will be taken until Dec. 4.

BOISE, Idaho — Editor's Note: The video with this story aired on Nov. 5 in The 208. It was about the huge response to the Strong Families, Strong Students program.

The Idaho State Board of Education says new applications are being accepted for the Strong Families, Strong Students program.

So many people applied for the federal emergency money intended to help children learn during the coronavirus pandemic that they stopped taking applications on Nov 6.

The Strong Families, Strong Students program will provide up to $1,500 per child — with a per-family maximum of $3,500 — to about 30,000 kids who need assistance purchasing educational materials, computers or other services.

The application portal will be open from Nov. 25 until Dec. 4. This will give families who missed the earlier deadline more time to apply for the grants.

“We’ve received several calls from families who missed the notification that we were pausing the acceptance of applications on November 6,” said State Board Chief Policy and Planning Officer Tracie Bent. “We’ve also learned that a number of people who did apply have not yet uploaded either their 2019 tax return or proof of their child’s enrollment, or both, and won’t be eligible for an award without that information. Now that we have been able to process more of the applications, we are reopening the portal so we can maximize the awards that are granted and use all of the available funding.”

Families who have already started applications are encouraged to check for a confirmation email to make sure their application is complete. 

New applicants should click the “Create Your Account” button. Those who have already applied can click the “Sign In” button to check on their account status or upload required documents.

Parents needing assistance with the application process can call 844-649-2921.

The federal coronavirus relief funds can be used to make purchases on the Strong Families, Strong Students online marketplace for such things as computer hardware and software, and other devices including adaptive learning technology, internet connectivity, instructional materials, fees for courses, tutoring services, educational services and therapies, and licensed daycare during daytime work hours.

The money will be distributed first on economic need and then on a first come, first serve basis. Initial notification of awards is expected to hit inboxes in early December.

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