(1) The civic education travel grant program is created to provide travel grants to students participating in statewide, regional, national, or international civic education competitions or events.
(2) The superintendent of public instruction shall allocate grants under the program established in this section from private donations or with amounts appropriated for this specific purpose. The grants shall be awarded on a competitive basis.
(3) The superintendent of public instruction may contract with independent review panelists and establish an advisory panel to evaluate and make recommendations to the superintendent of public instruction based on grant applications.
(4) The superintendent of public instruction shall select grant recipients from student applicants that meet all of the following criteria:
(a) Students must be residents of the state of Washington;
(b) Students must use the grants to fund travel to civic education-based competitions or events;
(c) Students must be participants in the civic education competition or event; and
(d) Students must be under the age of twenty-one and not yet have received their high school diploma.
(5) Students are encouraged to seek matching funds, in-kind contributions, or other sources of support to supplement their travel expenses.
(6) Applicants must include in the grant application the following:
(a) A brief description of the civic education competition or event;
(b) A brief description of what the applicant expects to learn from the competition or event;
(c) The total travel costs and how much the applicant is requesting from the program; and
(d) The total amount of matching funds the applicant has already secured or expects to secure.
(7) The superintendent of public instruction may adopt other criteria as appropriate for the review of grant proposals. In reviewing student applications for funding, scoring shall be based on an evaluation of all application materials that may be requested of applicants. The superintendent of public instruction shall consider the overall breadth and variety of the field of applicants to determine the projects that would best fulfill the program's goal. Final grant awards may be for the full amount of the grant request or for a portion of the grant request.
(8) The office of the superintendent of public instruction may accept gifts, grants, or endowments from public or private sources for the program and may spend any gifts, grants, or endowments or income from public or private sources according to their terms.