The Education Dept. (ED) launches the second phase of the FY 2015 Investing in Innovation (i3) competition, which will offer $44 million for inventive projects that spur K-12 reform. This round of funding is substantially less than the $130 million in funding that was offered in i3 grants last year.
The i3 competitions are different from the approximately 100 annual competitions that ED holds each year because it is a staged contest. The first phase of the competition started with i3 Development Grants (up to $3 million each). That round is now closed; the deadline was May 5. Approximately 11 development grants will be awarded up to $3 million each. The development solicitation includes five absolute priorities. This second round, the Scale-up Grants (CFDA Number: 84.411A) and Validation Grants (CFDA Number: 84.411B), opened after the Development (CFDA Numbers: 84.411P& 84.411C) grants competition closed
School districts and nonprofits are eligible. ED will award one Scale-Up award, $19 million (a 5% match required) and up to two Validation awards, up to $12 million each (a 10% match required). The Validation award total funding is $24 million.
Deadline: Aug. 5 (optional letters of intent due June 25).
Projects that include compelling evidence showing positive results in achieving reforms are most likely to win awards. The i3 program rewards innovative education practices that improve student achievement. Scale-up Grants enhance practices, strategies or programs with strong evidence of improving student achievement. Validation Grants support practices, strategies or programs that show promise for improving student achievement, but for which there is currently only moderate evidence.