Update on OII’s FY 2015 Grant Competitions

For the current fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2015, the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) will conduct 11 grant competitions in six program areas: Arts in Education, Charter Schools, Investing in Innovation, Opportunity Scholarship, Ready to Learn Television, and Supporting Effective Educator Development. Announcements of these competitions began this month and will continue through this spring and summer.

An Arts in Education National Program grant is available to support high-quality arts education projects and programs for children and youth, with special emphasis on serving students from low-income families and students with disabilities. Supported activities include professional development for arts educators, dissemination of instructional materials, and strengthening partnerships between schools and community-based arts organizations.

Two Charter Schools Program (CSP) competitions will support Non-State Educational Agencies in the planning, program design, and implementation of new charter schools, as well as in the dissemination of best practices of existing charter schools. The Replication and Expansion of High Quality Charter Schools program supports enrollment growth in existing charter schools and the opening of new charter schools based on established, successful models. State Educational Agencies (SEAs) in 42 states and the District of Columbia are eligible for CSP SEA Grants to conduct charter school programs and award subgrants to eligible applicants for planning, program design, and initial implementation of new charter schools. The SEA grants also support the dissemination of information about charter schools, including successful charter school practices. An overview of the CSP’s grant programs and additional links to the four competitions can be found here.

The three Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competitions — Development, Validation, and Scale-up — support school districts and nonprofits to expand the implementation of, and investment in, innovative practices. Development grants are for new and promising practices that should be studied further; Validation grants verify the effectiveness of programs with moderate levels of evidence; and Scale-up grants support applicants with the strongest evidence and track records of success. (Note: While the rest of OII’s 2015 grant competitions will make grant awards by September 30, 2015, the i3 grant awards will be made by December 31, 2015.)

The District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program provides low-income parents residing in the District of Columbia (District) with expanded options for the education of their children. One grant will be awarded on a competitive basis to establish a scholarship program that enables students to attend participating nonpublic District elementary or secondary schools of their choice.

The Ready to Learn Television program supports the development of educational television and digital media that promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching low-income children and their families. In addition, the program supports activities that promote national distribution and use of the programming for community-based outreach, and education and research purposes.

National nonprofit organizations are eligible for Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grants to increase the number of highly effective teachers and principals. The SEED grants support the development, expansion, and evaluation of pre-service and professional development best-practice models that are demonstrated to improve student achievement or student growth.

In addition to the above links to specific grant programs, a forecast of ED funding opportunities can be found here. Please visit this home page regularly to learn about OII program competitions as well as the accomplishments of currently funded projects.