October 6th, 2009
08:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Stimulus money for innovations in education announced

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. Department of Education is looking to give innovative school districts and non-profit organizations a share of $650 million in education stimulus money now available in a new fund, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Tuesday.

"There are many, many great ideas out there," Duncan told reporters on a conference call announcing his department's Investing in Innovation fund.

This newest pot of education stimulus money will be allocated directly to local districts - not through state education departments - with the money going to districts that either have a program that is working and needs to be expanded, or have a new idea that needs to be developed.

To be eligible for the money from the fund, which is also known as the i3 Fund, districts must have at least a 20 percent private-sector match, and must prove that their program will remain sustainable after the federal government funding ends.

Additionally, the programs concepts need to be transferable to other districts. Duncan said his department wants to take good ideas from the local level and apply them to other localities that may benefit from the innovations.

At the same time, Duncan added that the department would be free to pull funding from programs that are not meeting their goals.

"We realize that new and innovative ideas don't always work," he said.

The money for the i3 Fund is expected to be allocated by September 2010.

A 30-day public comment period opened on Tuesday. Those who wish to comment can do so on the U.S. Department of Education Web site at ed.gov.

The i3 Fund is separate from Race to the Top, which is also funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The $4.35 billion Race to the Top fund is to be allocated to states that meet certain criteria like internationally benchmarked standards and turning round low performing schools.

The Department of Education is currently processing more than 4,000 comments it received during the comment period for the Race to the Top regulations. Officials expect to have the final regulations in place this fall, so that they can receive applications during the winter months.

Filed under: Arne Duncan • economic stimulus • Education
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. malclave

    So, is this "stimulus" actually going to be directed to programs that create jobs, or is it just a means to further promote leftist indoctrination in public schools?

    Maybe a talent show, which school district can perform the best hymn to Obama?

    October 6, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  2. Voter

    Personally, I'd rather fund a few jobs than a bunch of "ideas to be developed." How about you?

    October 6, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  3. Heather

    TO: President Obama, Senate, House of Representatives, Czars, etc...
    YOUR SOCIALIST AGENDA, SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS, UNIONS, AND YOUR MINIONS IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE have breached your duty to our nation, and apparently refuse to undertake ANY action that might help the country. Your agenda and your buddies on Wall Street, at ACORN, SEIU, APOLLO Alliance, CAP, and last, but certainly not least GEORGE SOROS are more important to you.

    If Zimbabwe style hyperinflation ensues, then their money, your money, and the government's money will be just as worthless as ours.
    If the playing field is leveled to that degree, and everyone starts at square one again with zero money, HOW WILL YOU KNOW WHO TO KISS UP TO to get ahead?

    October 6, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  4. Great educational ideas

    I have several earth shattering unique education initiatives that could revolutionize how we teach in the country. Here they are:

    1. Make kids attend classes.
    2. Give them homework and make them do it.
    3. Compel parents to get involved with their kids education
    4. Test the heck out of students -
    5. Kids failing need to go to summer school

    6. Any kid age 16 or over that flunks out of high school goes to Afghanistan

    October 6, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  5. Mark

    so which schools tend to be "innovative"? The school districts that have money. This isnt helping.

    October 6, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  6. phoenix86

    So we are now borrowing from China to fund education? Why not use some of the government wasted money Obama says he can get when he cuts Medicare instead of borrowing more?

    October 6, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Finally a president who cares about the education of ALL of his citizens!

    October 6, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  8. Stu

    This isn't stimulus money, it is taxpayer money going to pork, pork and more pork projects. At least it is going to education and not some welfare program. Hopefully, the states won't turn around and withhold the same amount from school budgets as they have done with powerball and casinos.

    October 6, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  9. S Callahan NYS

    This will be interesting to see the ideas that come from this....and I think some great ideas are out there....think of the science or ethics programs that can be developed...or enhanced...I'll guess we will see better results in our children's 'real' schooling through this than the typical ed day.

    October 6, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  10. gg

    before reagan, bush sr, bush jr, clinton , and free trade america had all kinds of jobs,now if china did n,t send ship,s full of goods america is dead.

    October 6, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  11. Rafael VA

    Money that we don't have. I wish it was that easy at my house...

    October 6, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    How will this help those who are currently unemployed? This does nothing for the economy, nor does it help foster job creation. Hey, Junior's school got more money to help him develop his "ideas," meanwhile his unemployed parents can't put food on the table and have to declare bankruptcy. The "economic" stimulus is just as confused as the administration.

    October 6, 2009 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  13. Wise Latina

    Are these REALLY "shovel ready" jobs(!), or more shovels full of political payola for the corrupt teachers unions????

    October 7, 2009 01:29 am at 1:29 am |