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Investing in Innovation, Round 2

The starting gun has sounded for a second round of Investing in Innovation grants. Also known as “i3” (think iPhones or iPads), the program will provide competitive funding to nonprofits and schools for innovative education programs that can show evidence of previous success.

This time the Department of Education will be offering $150 million in grant funding, down from $650 million last year when the program first received funding under economic recovery legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2009.

Applicants for the new round of funding will need to focus on at least one of the following:

  • turning around persistently low-performing schools;
  • supporting effective teachers and principals;
  • implementing high standards and quality assessments in schools;
  • increasing educational achievement and high school graduation rates in rural schools; or
  • promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

In addition, applications will be given preference if they:

  • improve learning outcomes for children in their pre-kindergarten years,
  • increase college access and success,
  • address the needs of students with disabilities and limited English proficiency,
  • improve educational productivity or
  • improve technology.

As in the first round of grants made last year, the program will offer different levels of funding depending upon the applicant’s track record of success. The highest level of funding – up to two grants worth as much as $25 million each – will be reserved for “Scale-up grants” to expand programs with the greatest evidence of success.


Posted in i3.