Grants Distributed for STEM Education

In addition to the much talked about Race to the Top, the Department of Education also recently held a grant competition known as Investing in Innovation.  These grants were included in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (The Stimulus) and were intended to go to either state education agencies, non-profit organizations, or a consortia of schools.  According to the Department of Education, these grants will allow the grantees to expand and develop innovative practices, create partnerships between the private sector and the philanthropic community, and identify and document best practices that can be shared and scaled.

The biggest recipients included Teach for America and KIPP, each of whom received a $50 million grant.  Among the winners were a number who focus on STEM education; including  ASSET Incorporated, the Bellevue School District, ARCHES, and the Center for 21st Century Skills at Education Connection.  The specific grants were designed to, among other things, expand proven regional STEM programs state-wide, increase enrollment in Advanced Placement STEM courses, increase the amount of under-represented students in STEM courses, and develop a model to increase STEM interest and achievement.

Before each winner can accept the funds they must secure commitment of 20% of the value of the grant from another source by September 8, 2010.   Critics, meanwhile, claim that the grants favored larger and more urban school districts that had the capacity and infrastructure necessary to prepare competitive grant applications.  However, in a press release, the Department of Education noted that grants were distributed across 42 states and 2 territories.

Posted by: Clark Taylor

Sources: The Department of Education, The New York Times, The New America Foundation

Photo Credit: IMG_1414 courtesy of flickr user ncsunewsdept


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