Education Dept. Launches Final Investing in Innovation Competition

DeptOfEd_largeThe Education launches the seventh and final round of the Investing in Innovation (i3) competition (CFDA Number: 84.411A-Scale-up grants; 84.411B-Validation grants; and 84.411C-Development grants).

Deadline: May 24 (Development grants; http://tinyurl.com/z7k29kh, NOFA).

Later this year, the department will announce the i3 Validation and Scale-up competitions for applicants with more rigorous evidence supporting their proposed projects. In FY 2017, the i3 program will be replaced by the new Education Innovation and Research program, established by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Guidelines for that new competition have yet to be released.

This year, educators working with school districts, nonprofits and partner organizations can apply for i3 grant awards up to $3 million; 11 awards will be made.   

“We are proud to support innovative educators that are helping every student learn, grow and achieve their full potential,” said Nadya Chinoy Dabby, DoEd assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement. “Across the country, we have seen how innovation in education can close gaps in opportunity, and change the academic and life trajectories of underserved students.”

This year, the i3 Development competition is encouraging innovations that maximize students’ learning and engagement by transforming the school environment. For the first time, the department is encouraging applicants to improve school climates and develop alternative strategies to exclusionary discipline. This allows schools, districts and their partners to build on the extensive work underway through the Administration’s #ReThinkDiscipline initiative.

This year’s competition also includes a focus on fostering schools’ racial and socioeconomic diversity, and closing gaps in opportunity for underserved students. Consistent with past years, this competition also promotes innovative strategies to support students and educators as they implement rigorous standards and aligned assessments, enhance students’ non-cognitive skills, and serve students in rural areas.

DoEd recently announced that all 13 winners of the 2015 Investing in Innovation (i3) grants have been able to finalize their awards by securing the necessary private funding to fulfill their non-federal match obligation (http://tinyurl.com/pap2avu).  

The 13 organizations — selected from more than 400 applications — had to secure private sector matching funds by December 2015 or lose their award money, which would have been redistributed to others on the i3 awards list. Through these projects, i3 will support local efforts to start or expand evidence-based programs that can transform the academic trajectory of students.

Since 2010, the i3 program has awarded over $1.3 billion—matched by more than $200 million in private sector matching funds—to schools and nonprofit partners working in all 50 states. These efforts have helped partner organizations in the i3 Development tier create and share strategies that change students’ lives.

For example:

  • The Bellevue School District in Washington State improved students’ scores on Advanced Placement tests, and increased college readiness by developing a comprehensive approach to Problem-Based Learning.
  • The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee’s SPARK Literacy program boosted students’ reading achievement and literacy development, and participating students were 27% less likely to be chronically absent from school.
  • The Building Assets Reducing Risks model closed the gap in academic achievement in math and reading between Hispanic and non-Hispanic students in a California high school.

Info: http://tinyurl.com/zlxxzgk (website) Carol Lyons, 202/453-7122, i3@ed.gov

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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