September 11, 2009
Education Department Seeks Philanthropic Partners to Promote Innovation
Education Week reports that the U.S. Department of Education is seeking matching funds from private foundations to expand its existing $650 million Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund. The Fund exists to make grants to local educational agencies, including charter schools, and nonprofits working with such agencies in order to bring to scale innovative educational practices. The stimulus bill provided the Fund's initial dollars, but the Obama Administration is seeking an additional $100 million for the Fund in the next budget year. The article reports earlier statements by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that the first round of grants will fall into three categories: innovation awards for promising ideas (up to $5 million each) research or organizational capacity grants to increase the scale of existing programs (up to $30 million each), and expansion grants for proven programs (up to $50 million each). The Department expects to begin making information about applying for the grants available in coming weeks, and to begin issuing grants in early 2010.
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