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1,669 ‘i3' Applications Received by Education Department

By Michele McNeil — May 13, 2010 1 min read

By yesterday’s 4:30 p.m. deadline, 1,669 districts, schools, and nonprofits had turned in their applications for the $650 million Investing in Innovation Fund, according to a summary document posted this afternoon on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

From a logistical standpoint, that number may be a relief for the department from the nearly 2,500 entities that filed notices of intent indicating they might apply. Such a huge applicant pool would have required a ton of peer reviewers, although more than 1,600 isn’t necessarily going to make things easy.

In that applicant pool, we don’t yet know the breakdown of how many want the big $50 million “scale-up” grants, the smaller $30 million “validation” grants, or the smallest $5 million “development” grants. But the Education Department promises there’s a lot more information to come.

This is from the summary:

Specifically, the Department intends to provide detailed information on the applicants, partners, priorities, budgets and descriptions of each i3 application. The Department will leverage a new user-friendly platform that will allow the public to run customized reports on the application pool.

In the coming days and weeks, the number of actual applicants may fluctuate from this original 1,669 number for two main reasons. First, districts affected by the massive flooding in Tennessee late last month have until May 19 to get their applications in, under a deadline extension granted by the department. And second, just because an entity applies doesn’t mean the entity is eligible to apply. To even compete, applicants have to demonstrate that they have the appropriate amount of evidence to back up their proposals, as spelled out in the federal regulations. So the department may have to eliminate some from competition from the get-go.