All 49 winning Investing in Innovation (i3) proposals have secured the required 20 percent private-sector match and will receive their awards by Sept. 30. The winners were selected from among nearly 1,700 applicants for potential funding from the $650 million i3 program and represented a cross-section of school districts and nonprofit education organizations, including institutions of higher education.
"We couldn't have been more impressed by the way innovative programs and private sector partners came together to support the ideas and best practices that will help us take leaps forward in education," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Nearly all winning applicants secured their matches from multiple private-sector partners including local, community, corporate and national foundations, philanthropic individuals and a range of business and service providers. More than half of the i3 winners received some support from at least one of the nearly fifty members of the Foundation Registry i3 (foundationregistryi3.org). The list of these 49 applicants can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/2010/i3hra-list.pdf with a more detailed summary of each applicant at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/2010/summary-i3hra.pdf.
In order to continue to support innovation and evidence based practices, the Education Department will work with several organizations and build upon the momentum created by the i3 program. In November, the Department will continue its efforts to spotlight high potential i3 applicants who did not receive i3 grants. Early next year, The Aspen Institute and other organizations will bring together leaders in the business, philanthropic and policy communities as well as promising i3 applicants and other innovative education efforts to explore the full range of strategies for funding and scaling innovative and evidenced based programs and organizations. Additional detail on these efforts will be announced in the coming weeks.
The i3 fund, which is part of the historic $10 billion investment in school reform in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will support local efforts to start or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve outcomes for high-need students. The competition was open to school districts as well as nonprofit organizations, including institutions of higher education working in partnership with public schools. Applicants were required to demonstrate their previous success in closing achievement gaps, improving student progress toward proficiency, increasing graduation rates, or recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers and principals.
The administration has requested an additional $500 million in funding for this program in FY 2011. Additional rounds of funding may offer applicants that were not selected and other potential applicants that did not participate in this year's competition an opportunity to strengthen their models and build their evidence bases, supporting a continued cycle of innovation and evaluation.