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Specialized Secondary Programs (SSP)

NOTE: The application due date for this program has passed.

Funding Description

Specialized Secondary Programs provides start-up funds for the establishment of new, advanced programs in California high schools. The programs are expected to be a model for standards-based instruction, rich in curriculum content with varied instructional methodologies that emphasize expanded, in-depth study of a targeted content area or a thematic or career focus. Funding is available for planning new programs, implementing programs and also supports successful SSP programs to host demonstration days to showcase fully developed programs.


Eligible Applicants Local educational agencies
Required Eligibility Criteria Each district may submit one SSP application for a comprehensive high school that is not currently receiving SSP funds. The proposed program must be new to the school and serve students in at least two consecutive grades 9-12. Teachers must develop curriculum and instructional methodologies that will be made available to other California schools. For high schools that currently receive SSP funds, continued funding is contingent upon progress toward full implementation, or a legislated apportionment. Applicants for an SSP Demonstration Site grant must have received SSP funding between 1995 and 2008 and must still have their SSP program fully implemented.
Other Eligibility Considerations To apply for a new SSP grant, an Intent to Submit form must be sent to the High School Initiatives/Career Education Office, postmarked or faxed by Monday, October 29, 2008. Continuation high schools that cannot provide a new advanced program for a cohort of students over two consecutive years in grade 9-12 should not apply. Charter schools that receive the categorical block grant are not eligible to apply, because these schools already receive SSP funds through the categorical block grant.
Eligible Grade Level(s) 9, 10, 11, 12
Eligible Age Level(s) Not applicable


Legal Authority California Education Code sections 58800-58806; Budget Item 6110-122-0001
Source / Type State / Grant
State Fiscal Year 2008-09
SACS Resource / Revenue Codes 7370 / 8590
Total Available $6,122,000
Recipient Amount $185,000-$285,000 over four years.
Match Requirement No
Allocation Formula SSP grant awards are determined by the phase of program implementation. $5,499,000 of SSP funds are distributed to schools currently implementing programs, demonstration sites, and two that receive a legislated apportionment. An estimated $623,000 is available for new programs, which will each receive $35,000 for up to 17 planning grants.

Important Dates

Date Application Available September 29, 2008
Due Date November 26, 2008
Expected Notification Date May 1, 2009

Additional Information

Application SSP 2008 RFA []
Background Specialized Secondary Programs (SSP) []
Fiscal Specialized Secondary Programs (SSP) []
Funding ResultsSSP []
Other SSP funds are used to annually fund new planning or implementation grants, to continue funding grants for schools in the SSP implementation phases, for demonstration grants to showcase fully developed SSPs, and for apportionment funding of two SSP recipients that worked in collaboration with the CSU system before 1991. Up to 20 new SSP programs are chosen annually. For information about SSP RFA Technical Assistance workshops go to:


Program Jack Mitchell, Education Programs Consultant, High School Initiatives/Career Education Office, 916-319-0504,
Fiscal Jeanne Geiser, Staff Services Analyst, High School Initiatives/Career Education Office, 916-319-0474,
Division Career & College Transition Division, 916-319-0893 (phone), 916-319-0168 (fax)
Last Modified: September 29, 2008
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