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ERIC Number: EJ890706
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul-14
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Coveted "i3" Aid Prompts Flood of Applications
McNeil, Michele
Education Week, v29 n36 p1, 28-29 Jul 2010
Demand is far outpacing resources in one hot segment of the education innovation market, as districts, schools, and nonprofit organizations pitch reform proposals worth $12.8 billion for competitive grants to be awarded under the federal Investing in Innovation Fund, or "i3"--nearly 20 times what the U.S. Department of Education has available. The $650 million competition financed by the economic-stimulus package drew 1,698 applicants by the May 12 application deadline, creating a wish list that ranges from a $22,282 proposal to improve students' writing in Connecticut's Preston district to a $50 million plan to expand the Teach For America corps. Through a new, user-friendly web-site unveiled last month, the Education Department has now offered the public a glimpse into who's applied for these i3 grants, what innovative proposals they're pitching, and how much money they want. The data reveal that a little more than half the applicants are nonprofits that have partnered with districts and schools, vs. school districts that are going after these grants as lead applicants on their own. Those are the only two types of applicants eligible to apply. Nearly 40 percent of the applicants--whether they're based in rural areas or not--say they are going to address the needs of rural schools or districts if they win. Judges can award up to 2 bonus points on the 100-point grading scale if they think a proposal meets that criteria. And about 12 percent of applicants, or 200, say they won't be able to secure 20 percent in matching funds from the private sector--a stipulation for winning--so they've asked for a waiver from the department. These findings are according to an "Education Week" analysis of the online data, which the Education Department compiled from the applications submitted by the May 12 deadline. The $650 million i3 competition is a relatively small piece of some $100 billion in education aid funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress last year. Unlike the more high-profile Race to the Top competition for states, there's only one round of competition for i3, and there are fewer guidelines on how proposals should be shaped. The i3 grants will be awarded by Sept. 30 to the most innovative proposals that focus on improving teacher effectiveness, low-performing schools, standards and assessments, and data systems. The largest grants of up to $50 million, called "scale-up," will be awarded to those proposals backed by strong evidence of success. The two other tiers, $30 million "validation" and $5 million "development" grants, require lower levels of evidence.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail: customercare@epe.org; Web site: http://www.edweek.org/info/about/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A