Opportunity and Access

Request for Investment

This funding opportunity is now closed. 

Opportunity and Acces Request for Investment

The Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) is accepting Opportunity & Access requests for investment from agencies interested in providing expanded learning and college and career readiness services for youth disproportionately impacted by systemic inequities in education. Funding will increase the capacity of organizations supporting young people to build skills that help them succeed in school, graduate on time, and transition to college and careers. Funding is available by revenue generated by the 2018 voter-approved Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise Levy.  

Please note: Changes to the funding process and timeline may occur. DEEL will not provide individual notice of changes, and applicants are responsible for regularly checking this webpage for technical assistance information, updates, clarifications, or amendments.  

Grant Process Update*: 

On March 3, DEEL amended the RFI overview to include the following minumum qualification for eligibility: For profit companies are not eligible unless they are fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3 applicant. The applicant organization must be the 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor.

Who can apply and for how much money:  

Approximately $7.2 million dollars is available for Opportunity and Access (O&A) investments for 2023-26 school years. Community-based organizations, schools not receiving FEPP Levy School-Based Investments, government agencies, tribes, and tribal organizations serving immigrant, refugee and youth of color are encouraged to apply. 

Eligible applicants may submit one application that funds a proposal of $150,000 per year for a total of $450,000 over three years. 

Types of programs that can be funded:  

DEEL will fund community-informed proposals providing safe and culturally affirming environments for youth to explore their academic interests while building critical thinking, self-advocacy, and collaboration skills that lead to success. Applying organizations can select one of the two funding tracks: 

  • Track 1 Capacity Building: For smaller organizations with limited paid staff and a modest operating budget and that demonstrate the ability to grow capacity to deliver quality programming that positively impacts priority focus students and communities. Applicants with organizational staff and leadership that are representative of the youth they serve and that engage youth and families in programming will be prioritized.  
  • Track 2 Program: For organizations with current capacity and ability to deliver the expanded learning or college and career readiness services and quality programing outlined in the strategies below. Culturally responsive programs co-designed by youth and families, and led by staff who share the youths’ identities, will be prioritized.  

Selected applicants will provide programming that advances DEEL’s desired outcome that all Seattle students graduate high school college and career ready, by using the following strategies: 

  • Expanded Learning Opportunities encompassing academic or enrichment experiences that take place afterschool, during school breaks, and in the summer. Services will provide students meaningful learning opportunities outside of the school day and year to complement school curriculum. Examples of funded program areas may include arts and culture education, STEM programming, sports, health and wellness activities, and leadership development. 

  • College and Career Readiness services supporting development of key skills that help prepare students to achieve their goals after high school. Activities may take place during the school day, afterschool, and summer months. Strong partnerships between schools and community-based organizations are encouraged to promote shared community and school leadership in achieving FEPP Levy goals. 

How applicants will be selected: 

A maximum of 15 proposals will be awarded through a competitive RFI process managed by DEEL.  

Applicant organizations with the following characteristics are encouraged to apply (additional and specific eligibility criteria will be listed on applications): 

  • Demonstrated organizational structures and strategies to engage with the community, particularly with youth and families.
  • Organizational staff and leadership are representative of and primarily serving priority focus student populations.
  • Demonstrates current ability to deliver programming that is culturally responsive and promotes equitable access.

Each eligible grant application will be reviewed by a funding panel that will include members of the community, members from the Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise Levy, and City of Seattle staff. Applications will be assessed through the lens of the priority criteria outlined above. The review panel will consider the proposals received and seek to fund a diverse range of project concepts and communities of focus. 

Technical Assistance: 

Technical assistance is available in multiple languages to support applicants to develop proposals in alignment to the priorities of this RFI. Technical assistance is provided by experienced community-based consultants in both group and individuals settings, and is free for applicants. DEEL strongly recommends applicants utilize technical assistance services.

Meet DEEL’s Technical Assistance Providers  

Argentina Rivera Back headshot

Argentina Rivera Back 
Principal Consultant and Founder, Lanza Learning  
Languages Spoken: English and Spanish  
Email: arback1976@gmail.com 
Argentina is a skilled facilitator with over 20 years of experience in the field of education.  She has been a classroom teacher, coach, and district facilitator in the fields of early learning, ELA and supporting multilingual learners.  Argentina was instrumental in developing, launching and managing the Multilingual Services program at the Puget Sound Educational Service District while also participating in the agency’s transformation team as they moved towards becoming an antiracist, multicultural organization.  Argentina brings an equity lens that has been shaped through lived experiences, extensive training, and collaboration with marginalized communities to all the work she engages in. 

Nafasi Ferrell Nafasi Ferrell 
Principal Consultant and Founder, Narratives Unbound, LLC  
Languages Spoken: English 
Email: info@narrativesunbound.net 
Nafasi is deeply committed to transforming youth education through the arts and creating intergenerational spaces of dialogue highlighting the importance of history in our continuous struggle for racial equity. Her current work focuses on racial wealth gap and innovative forms of restorative wealth redistribution, working with entrepreneurs to understand the system as well as providing individualized financial coaching. She is also a teaching artist Nafasi has facilitated poetry sessions with homeless youth and led workshops with high school and community members in the Seattle area using hip-hop and poetry. She hopes to help bring together individuals, families, and organizations and give greater visibility to the many diverse communities.

Tracy Myers headshot Tracy Myers 
Principal Consultant and Founder, Middle Waters Consulting 
Languages Spoken: English 
Email: tracy@middle-waters.com 
Tracy is a mother, sister, friend, and story seeker. She identifies as Indigenous, Filipina, & white. Her career began in the world of social work. Through non-profit, government, and education, she has worked to address the social ills of America through serving communities experiencing homelessness, poverty, abuse, mental illness, and chemical dependency for over 15 years. As she realized more efforts were needed to prevent these social injustices, she turned to the educational system to work with our emerging young leaders. Through years of exploring the impacts of racism on her life, she claims her identity through knowing her Indigenous, Filipina, & white ancestry and committing to raising her racial consciousness.   



To be considered for funding, eligible applicants are invited to submit RFI applications by 3:00pm on Monday, March 6, 2023. DEEL will notify successful applicants by Friday, June 9, 2023. 

Event:  Date and Time*: 
Application Opens Monday January 23, 2023 
Pre-recorded Information Session

Posted by Friday, January 27, 2023 at 4:00pm 

See below for link

Technical Assistance Session 1

Wednesday February 1, 2023 

Join Teams Meeting

Meeting ID: 267 969 889 395
Passcode: fddfFa

Technical Assistance Session 2

Wednesday February 8, 2023

Join Teams Meeting

Meeting ID: 219 614 604 414
Passcode: h7JbUG

One-on-One Technical Assistance Dates February 1 through March 3, 2023, by appointment 
Last Day to Submit Questions   Wednesday March 1, 2023 by 4:00pm
Application Deadline Monday March 6, 2023 by 3:00pm
Application Review Period March 6 through April 27, 2023
Notice Provided to Selected Applicants Friday June 9, 2023 

*Dates subject to change. 

How to Apply: 

Please click the link below to view the RFP Overview document, which will guide you through the application process.   

RFI Technical Overview*  Access PDF - AMENDED March 3, 2023 

Each of the following forms are required as part of your application for funding. Please be sure to complete application materials for ONE of the following tracks:   

Track 1 Capacity Building Registration Link  Click here to access form
Track 1 Capacity Building Application Template Download Word or PDF 


Track 2 Program Registration Link  Click here to access form
Track 2 Program Application Template Download Word or PDF 

Use the following links to access forms and additional information you will need to apply for this funding opportunity: 

Pre-recorded Information Session

Watch Info Session on YouTube 
Information Session Slides  Download PDF
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Download PDF updated 3/3/2023 

How to Submit Your Application: 

Email your application to DEELFunding@seattle.gov. Please use the following naming convention in the subject line of your email and for the electronic files attached: “[Organization Name] - 2023 Opportunity and Access RFI.”     

How to Submit Questions: 

To submit questions, please email DEELFunding@seattle.gov with "Question: 2023 Opportunity and Access RFI" in the subject line. Responses will be published and linked in the table above. 

Education and Early Learning

Dwane Chappelle, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94665, Seattle, WA, 98124-6965
Phone: (206) 233-5118
Phone Alt: Childcare and Preschool: (206) 386-1050
Fax: (206) 386-1900

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