The following is from the press release issued today by the U.S. Department of Education. More details are available at Ed.gov.
Washington — U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today 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.
"We're making an unprecedented investment in cutting-edge ideas that will produce the next generation of school reforms," Secretary Duncan said. "The i3 competition will provide seed money for fresh ideas, help grow promising programs with a good track record and scale up programs with proven results to a national level."
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.
"The $650 million Investing in Innovation competition that we are unveiling today is a challenge to school districts and nonprofits," Secretary Duncan said. "We're looking to drive reform, reward excellence and dramatically improve our nation's schools."
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. (More)