April 8, 2013

US Department of Education Launches 2013 Investing in Innovation (i3) Program

The U.S. Department of Education announced the start of the $150 million 2013 Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition with the release of the program's invitation for pre-applications for the i3 "Development" grant category and the notice of final priorities for the i3 program overall. The announcement incorporates several improvements the Department has made to the grant competition in its efforts to support school districts and nonprofit organizations in partnership with schools to pursue innovative ideas that increase student success.

This competition includes a priority on improving academic outcomes for English learners (ELs). School districts across the country are experiencing increases in the enrollment of students who cannot speak, read, or write English well enough to participate meaningfully in educational programs and who therefore need specialized support services. Too often, these students’ English language needs are not met, thereby inhibiting them from the achieving the academic outcomes of which they are capable. This issue is particularly acute for ELs at the middle and high-school levels. To address this concern, we include a subpart that focuses on projects that align the curriculum and instruction to be used in grades 6–12 that are necessary for preparing ELs to be college-and career ready.

Absolute Priority 5—Improving Academic Outcomes for English Learners (ELs)

Projects addressing the following priority area:

(a) Aligning and implementing the curriculum and instruction used in grades 6–12 for language development and content courses to provide sufficient exposure to, engagement in, and acquisition of academic language and literacy practices necessary for preparing ELs to be college- and career ready.

The deadline for the pre-application is April 26, 2013. Following the peer review process, the Department will announce a list of the highly rated pre-applications. These entities will then be invited to apply for the Development competition and given additional time to complete their full application.

To learn more about the i3 grant program and the pre-application process, please visit the i3 site: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/index.html

The Development notice in the Federal Register:

Pre-Applications Available: March 29, 2013
Deadline for Notice of Intent to Submit Pre-Application: April 16, 2013
Deadline for Transmittal of Pre-Applications: April 26, 2013

The Administration will continue to support the development, evaluation, and expansion of innovative practices with evidence of effectiveness in improving outcomes for students. Applicants may choose to focus on the needs of ELs in any of the priorities listed under this competition. The first three i3 competitions included a competitive preference priority for applicants that focused on serving student populations with special needs.

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