As we told you earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Education announced the highest rated Investing in Innovation (i3) grant applicants, giving them until September 8, 2010 to secure a commitment from the private sector for a 20 percent match in funds. We have just heard that all 49 of the highest-rated applicants were able to do so.
These grants are funded with $650 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the economic-stimulus program. Grants ranged from $5 million to $50 million. While the funding from the stimulus only covers fiscal years 2009 and 2010, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has asked for an additional $500 million in the federal budget process to continue the program for another year. The House Appropriations education subcommitteeâ€™s bill included $400 million for i3 grants, and the Senate Appropriations Committeeâ€™s bill included $250 million, so the program may see some additional funding in fiscal year 2011.