Factors that contribute to the decision of a school district to create a grant proposal writer position: A multi-case study
Having additional funds from grants to develop programs is a positive event for school districts. The major problem in obtaining grants is the development and writing of the proposal because the current structure of staff duties does not provide time for this activity. Another issue, for Texas school districts related to grants, is that the current state funding system limits the amount of funds that can be raised locally. Grants, therefore, are one of the few methods to establish new programs because they are not considered as a part of this state funding formula system. This qualitative study examined the creation of the grant proposal writer position at seven school districts across the State of Texas to identify the factors that lead to its establishment. The study employed an autobiographical form of self-study research as a starting point due to the researcher being the grant proposal writer for one of the school districts. At the remaining six school districts, the individuals who were responsible for the creation of the position were interviewed, along with the grant proposal writer, to develop themes concerning the establishment of the position. The following themes were identified: (1) someone developed a vision for what the school district could become; (2) this vision called for programs beyond the current scope of funding; (3) there was an advocate for the creation of the grant proposal writing position as a means for the funding of this vision; (4) the school district perceived grants as a method of providing additional funding; (5) there was a belief that a person associated with the school district could successfully merge grant proposal writing and the vision; and (6) the school district developed a method to write grant proposals. Thus, a clear vision for what the school district can become, not just a need for increased funding, was found to be the starting point for development of the grant proposal writing position. The study, because of the autobiographical form of self-study research, also discussed the effects of having a successful program of grant proposal development had on the researcher's school district.