Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Foundations Pledge $500 Million for Education Innovation

To support promising innovations in education, a dozen foundations have pledged $500 million to leverage the DOE’s $650 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant opportunity. Although each foundation will remain autonomous in determining which programs will receive funding, the “historic” collaboration between the foundation community and the Department of Education will result in over $1 billion in available funds for i3 applicants-non-profits, local education agencies, and public schools.

Participating foundations include: The Annie E. Casey Foundation; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; Ford Foundation; John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Lumina Foundation for Education; Robertson Foundation; The Wallace Foundation; The Walton Family Foundation; The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation; and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

According to the DOE press release, the $500 million foundation committment in 2010 will help support and scale-up education innovations in three main categories:
• $233,212,635 in Innovation in the Classroom Funds will be used to scale practices and programs that recruit and train effective teachers and school leaders, improve the use of data for professional development and high quality assessments, complement the implementation of high standards, improve early learning outcomes, support college access & success, improve education in Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), support the unique needs of English language learners and students with disabilities and promote digital learning models.

• $178,114,911 in Innovative School Models Funds will go towards expanding effective practices in turning around low-performing schools; providing support for high-quality school choices including charters and alternative school designs; as well as for digital learning and supporting extended learning time.

• $95,059,728 in Sustainability of These Innovations Funds will help ensure that innovations have long-term impact and become a part of the broader education landscape. Funds will be used for research and evaluation of the effectiveness of the innovations and for growing the public support and capacity necessary for a more robust innovation sector. Funds in this category will also be used to develop platforms to share information across jurisdictions to continuously improve the field.

In addition, the foundations have launched an i3 registry intended to simplify the process for organizations seeking matching funds for the i3 grant opportunity. The i3 registry can be found here.

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