Secretary DeVos Announces New Funding to Accelerate Education Innovation and Empower Teachers with Professional Development Options

Secretary DeVos Announces New Funding to Accelerate Education Innovation and Empower Teachers with Professional Development Options

December 15, 2020

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced $185 million in new grant funding for 28 school districts, institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations across the United States as part of the Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program. These new grant awards will accelerate locally-driven innovation and improve academic achievement for high-needs students around the country.

This year's funding supports a new, groundbreaking effort to empower teachers to personalize their professional development, rather than have it imposed on them by their state or school district. More than $72 million in new funding will help develop systems to enable teachers to select professional learning options that meet their personal development needs, without cost to the teachers and beyond the one-size-fits-all training typically offered by the school system.

"I have heard clearly from classroom teachers from around the country: teacher professional development is broken, and teachers know how to fix it," said Secretary DeVos. "I am encouraged that these new grants will be used to empower teachers to choose their own professional learning and recognize that teachers should have the ability to choose the right direction for their professional growth. When you empower teachers to do what they know is best, teachers benefit—and so do students."

In addition to promoting teacher empowerment, the 28 awards help realize other key Administration priorities, including:

  • over $79 million to grants serving rural areas,
  • over $66 million to grants focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education (including computer science), and
  • over $77 million to grants supporting Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) projects.

The EIR program is authorized under Section 4611 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Its purpose is to create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based innovation to improve student achievement. As with all the Department of Education's grant competitions, applications undergo a blind evaluation by a panel of independent peer reviewers, and only the highest-scoring applications are funded. For additional information about the EIR competition, please visit oese.ed.gov.

A complete list of awardees is below:

Name State Award Amount Project Type

University of Alaska Fairbanks

AK

$7,999,712

Social-Emotional Learning

WestEd

CA

$8,000,000

Social-Emotional Learning

New Teacher Center

CA

$7,998,782

Social-Emotional Learning

University of Southern California

CA

$7,998,815

Social-Emotional Learning

Orange County Superintendent of Schools

CA

$3,964,304

STEM

American Institutes for Research

DC

$7,999,777

Social-Emotional Learning

Digital Promise Global

DC

$3,996,372

STEM

Duval County Public Schools

FL

$3,502,713

STEM

School Board of Miami-Dade County

FL

$12,000,000

Teacher PD

North American Native Research and Education Foundation INC

ID

$3,568,382

STEM

Computer Science Teachers Association LLC

IL

$10,492,565

Teacher PD

Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative

KY

$3,999,633

STEM

YouthForce NOLA

LA

$3,996,263

STEM

Jobs for the Future, Inc.

MA

$4,000,000

STEM

Education Development Center, Inc.

MA

$3,999,826

STEM

The Johns Hopkins University

MD

$5,879,943

Social-Emotional Learning

The Curators of the University of Missouri Special Trust

MO

$3,932,204

STEM

Missouri State University

MO

$3,996,749

STEM

Appalachian State University

NC

$11,999,692

Teacher PD

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

NJ

$4,000,000

STEM

Charleston County School District

SC

$11,932,890

Teacher PD

Voorhees College

SC

$5,822,638

Teacher PD

Niswonger Foundation

TN

$8,000,000

STEM

Texas A&M Research Foundation

TX

$7,999,563

STEM

Intercultural Development Research Association

TX

$3,898,640

STEM

Region 18 Education Service Center

TX

$9,053,450

Teacher PD

Virginia Advanced Study Strategies

VA

$10,864,212

Teacher PD

Educational Service District 105

WA

$4,000,000

STEM