Parents and families in districts with a total of 150,000 students could benefit from programs that received the promise of Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) grants from the U.S. Department of Education today—as long as each applicant can raise 10 percent of the total value of its grant by Dec. 7.
The i3 process requires winning applicants to secure private matching funds, or in-kind donations, to receive the federal grant. Dec. 7 is the deadline for securing that support. For development grants, a 15 percent match is required.
Four of the grants announced by the department were in the “parent/family” category, for a total of $10.5 million in funding. In all, $150 million will be awarded to 20 districts and nonprofits.
The parent/family grants are deemed an “absolute priority” because the proposals are designed to improve school engagement, school environment, and school safety, and improve family and community engagement.
The i3 contest is an outgrowth of the economic-stimulus package passed by Congress in 2009. I3 is “designed to find innovative ideas and bring them to scale. School districts, groups of schools and their nonprofit partners competed in the three categories, which varied based on how much evidence of past success an idea had,” writes Michele McNeil in “20 Districts, Nonprofits Set to Share $150 Million in New i3 Awards,” for her Politics K-12 blog.
Successfully collecting matching grants can be a challenging proposition, as Education Week‘s Jason Tomassini reports in “Matching Funds Fail to Materialize for Some i3 Grantees.”
The four awardees are:
Intercultural Development Research Association
PTA Comunitario, San Antonio, TX
Students Served: 120,000
California Association for Bilingual Education
Project 2INSPIRE Family, School, and Community Engagement, Covina, CA
Students Served: 28,040
Central Falls School District
We Are A Village, Central Falls, RI
Students Served: 1,034
Applicant: California League of Middle Schools
Project: California League of Middle Schools English Learner Families for College: Moreno Valley USD, Long Beach, CA
Students Served: 1,080
To view the entire list, refer to this spreadsheet.
A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.