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The Dallas Education Foundation is excited to announce its second annual Heart of Teaching Grant: Advancing Equity through Innovation in Special Education.

The 2024-2025 Heart of Teaching grants program will create opportunities for educators to advance equity through innovation in special education. The maximum grant award will be up to $4,500 per project and must be used in the 2024-2025 school year.

From March 21 through April 12, 2024, the Dallas Education Foundation (DEF) is accepting completed applications from Dallas ISD campus staff, administrators, and teachers seeking to fund innovative projects that advance learning, specifically for students receiving special education services. Grant applications should focus on enabling and driving student success, with projects that help boost morale, motivation, belonging, and a sense of accomplishment for students with special needs and their peers. 

The application is open to all campus staff who serve students with special needs and is not limited to those in special education positions.



  • March 21 - Application opens
  • April 12 - Application deadline
  • May 22 - Awardees announced
  • On or after July 1 - Grant disbursement



The Dallas Education Foundation (DEF) serves as Dallas ISD’s direct and designated philanthropic partner. Our mission is to inspire community investment to accelerate student success. We align with the district’s strategic initiatives and partner with our city’s business leaders, residents, and philanthropic community to raise funds for programs that enrich the lives of our students. In 2023, DEF disbursed $1.7 million to directly benefit our Dallas ISD students, teachers, and schools. To learn more, visit DEF at https://dallasedfound.org and follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X, and YouTube) at @dallasedfound. 



  • Grant proposals must serve special education students in some way. Students may still benefit from the grant even if they do not receive special education services (i.e. inclusion classes, after/before school clubs, campus projects).
  • Projects should help boost student morale, motivation, belonging, and a sense of accomplishment for students with special needs and their peers.
  • Awardees must execute the grant and spend all funds in the 2024-2025 school year and by April 30, 2025. Multi-year grants will not be awarded. 
  • All materials must be purchased using Dallas ISD awarded vendors. Please do not apply for projects that cannot be executed using the Dallas ISD procurement and awarded vendors. 
  • Awardees must be a Dallas ISD employee in the 2024-2025 school year to receive the funds. Awardees who separate from the district forfeit their opportunity to execute the grant.
  • One Dallas ISD employee must be identified as the primary contact for the grant application. 

The maximum grant awarded will be $4,500

Application Submission Deadline: Friday, April 12, 2024, 5:00 p.m. CDT



  • Projects must have an evaluation component and demonstrate potential for impact on student achievement.
  • Projects containing a technology component must demonstrate compliance with E-Rate restrictions.
  • Projects containing any type of permanent installation or alteration to a classroom or campus must demonstrate approval from Dallas ISD Facilities Department prior to submission.
  • Products and services purchased with grant funds become property of Dallas ISD. Dallas ISD accepts ownership, responsibility for implementation, operation, overhead, indirect cost, and any ongoing maintenance.
  • Grant funds will be disbursed via wire transfer to your campus budget.
  • Project expenditures must be made in accordance with Dallas ISD purchasing guidelines and procurement processes.
  • Project expenses must not already be covered by Dallas ISD budgeted funds.
  • Grantees must document their project's implementation, expenditures, and impact according to established timelines. Grantees must also work with DEF in acknowledging support of originating donors to DEF.



All applications must be submitted through Submittable, our online application system. We strongly urge you to download copies of the application and forms linked below and draft your application inputs before entering them live into the online form.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.