Funding Process

How to Apply for RFQs and RFIs

Seattle Public Schools
Seattle Public Schools may apply for Levy funds through a Request for Investment (RFI) process. Most school funds are earmarked for schools with large concentrations of low-performing students and/or students with multiple risk factors. 

Community-Based Organizations
Community-based organizations (CBOs) that will receive more than $5,000 per school year in Levy funds through partnerships with Innovation / Linkage schools must be pre-approved by the Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) through the Request for Qualifications process (see below). CBOs and schools seeking Levy funds for summer learning, health projects, and community-based family support may use the RFI process to apply directly to DEEL.

Requests for Investments (RFIs)

DEEL releases RFIs in order to acquire services that will help schools meet Levy goals. Most of the RFIs for the current Levy (passed in 2011) were released in 2012; a smaller number will be released in the remaining years of the Levy. 

Get Approved to Receive Levy Funds
We invite CBOs to submit an RFQ application that outlines their capacity to help youth/families achieve specific Levy goals. Applications are processed quarterly each year. Approved organizations become eligible to receive Levy funds through Levy-funded schools.

  • No money is awarded in the RFQ process; becoming approved is not a guarantee of funding.
  • $5,000 threshold.  CBOs expected to receive fewer than $5,000/school year in total Levy funds are not required to submit RFQs.
  • Connecting schools and CBOs. DEEL may host meetings to help link school leaders and approved organizations.

Q & A Sessions
OFE hosts a Question & Answer session for prospective applicants shortly after each RFI is released. Session materials are posted online; however, attendance at the sessions is highly recommended.

RFQ information session materials are posted online.

DEEL Staff Support
DEEL staff will answer questions about the RFQ / RFI processes by phone or email at any time up to specified cut-off dates.

Technical Compliance
RFQ / RFI submissions are reviewed for technical compliance (for example, they must be received on time with the required copies, attachments, signatures, etc.).

Evaluation Panel
A panel of evaluators rates technically compliant RFI / RFQ applications. To recommend approval, an evaluator must find that the submitter meets all of the qualifications for each RFI/RFQ criterion. DEEL may ask applicants to provide additional information and/or clarify elements of their submitted plans.

For RFQs
Organizations are evaluated in three areas:

  1. Key people
  2. Previous experience
  3. Ability to use data to track success

They are then rated "approved" or "not approved" to receive Levy funding. To be approved, a majority of the evaluators must recommend approval. Organizations not approved may reapply at a later date. Organizations remain approved for the duration of the Levy, unless there are significant changes to their qualifications or, if funded, they do not make adequate progress toward performance targets.

For RFIs
The evaluation panel assigns a score based on rating criteria specified in each RFI. Projects are funded based on their scores and the amount of Levy funds available.

DEEL notifies applicants by email if their RFQ was approved / not approved or their RFI was recommended / not recommended for funding. Successful RFQs / RFIs are posted on DEEL's website.

Applicants may appeal RFQ / RFI decisions in writing within 4 business days of email notification.

Appeals must be based on:

  1. Violation(s) of established RFQ/RFI policies or guidelines,


  2. DEEL's failure to adhere to published criteria and/or procedures.

See individual RFQs / RFIs for more information.

DEEL prepares school-year contracts with schools and directly-funded CBOs. Organizations that make significant progress toward performance targets usually continue to receive funding for the remainder of the current Levy (through the 2018-19 school year), but contracts must be reauthorized each year.

NOTE: Some Levy funds are also awarded through direct or consultant contracts per City Council Ordinance 123834.