U.S. Secretary of Education Announces National Competition to Invest in Innovation

arra120U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the Department’s priorities for grants under the $650 million Investing in Innovation Fund (i3). The fund, which is part of the historic $5 billion investment in school reform in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will support local efforts to start or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve outcomes for students.

Individual school districts or groups of districts can apply for the i3 grants, and entrepreneurial nonprofits can join with school districts to submit applications. Colleges and universities, companies and other stakeholders can be supporters of the projects.

Applicants must demonstrate their previous success in closing achievement gaps, improving student progress toward proficiency, increasing graduation rates, or recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers and principals.

Under the proposed priorities, grants would be awarded in three categories:

• Scale-up Grants: The largest possible grant category is focused on programs and practices with the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of students. Applicants must have a strong base of evidence that their program has had a significant effect on improving student achievement.

• Validation Grants: Existing, promising programs that have good evidence of their impact and are ready to improve their evidence base while expanding in their own and other communities.

• Development Grants: The smallest grant level designed to support new and high-potential practices whose impact should be studied further.

Grant recipients will be required to match federal funds with public or private dollars. Successful applicants will need to demonstrate how their programs will be sustainable after their federal grants are completed.

Learn More.
Source: Department of Education

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