Last week, the U.S. Department of Education announced that $150 million is available to continue the Investing in Innovation (i3) program which was established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009.
Known as i3, the competitive grant program allows school districts, groups of districts and non-profits partnering with school districts to apply for funding to support the scale-up, validation, or development of evidence-based practices.
Of the $150 million available for i3:
- Up to $25 million each will be available for Scale-up grants to applicants with the strongest evidence and track records of success;
- Up to $15 million each will be available for Validation grants to verify effectiveness for programs with moderate levels of evidence;
- Up to $3 million each will be available for Development grants to support new and high-potential practices whose impact should be studied further.
Two new absolute priorities focusing on achievement and high school graduation rates in rural schools and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education have been added to the three absolute priorities that remain from last year's competition which include, supporting effective teachers and principals, implementing high standards and quality assessments, and turning around persistently low-performing schools. All applicants must address one of these five key areas of reform.
CEC supports the Investing in Innovation program as a way to continue the development of evidence-based best practices for all students, including children and youth with exceptionalities and provided extensive comments to the Department when the program was initiated in 2009. As i3 continues, CEC encourages the Department to ensure that grants address the needs of children and youth with exceptionalities, the professionals who work on their behalf.
For more information on current i3 grants, click here.
For more information on the new i3 grant competition, click here.