Definitions for "Block grants"
Grants allocated by the federal government to state agencies based on a formula, not a competition.
A program can be created as a block grant. In a typical federal block grant, the allocation of funds to the states is based on a formula and states have broad discretion in how they allocate the funds to the local level and the purposes for which those funds can be spent. "Block granting" occurs when Congress combines separate programs with distinct purposes and funding streams (known as categorical programs) into a new, single program and repeals the categorical programs. The new block grant program has fewer requirements and a broad use of the funds. For example, the Safe and Drug Free Schools Program was created as a block grant. The Child Care Development Fund was created through the block granting of the AFDC Child Care Program, the Transitional Child Care Program, the At-Risk Child Care program, and the Child Care and Development Block Grant. Back to the top
Funds given states to run programs within guidelines defined by the federal government.