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CTE Policy Watch

Department of Education Announces 2013 Investing in Innovation Competition



By: Brendan

The U.S. Department of Education announced last week the start of the 2013 Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition. The announcement included a new set of priorities and a pre-application for the competition’s “development” category.

Originally launched in 2010, the i3 grants are designed to encourage school districts and nonprofits to work in partnership to develop and expand practices that accelerate learning and prepare every student to succeed in college and in their careers. The competition is broken into three grant categories: development, validation and scale-up, with each category receiving a share of the competition’s $150 million grant fund.

The “development” category is intended to provide funding to promising but untested ideas, and has proven to be the most popular of the three grants. Because of its popularity during the previous three grant cycles, the department has again decided to use a pre-application to reduce the burden on applicants with limited resources.

In addition to the broader priorities of the competition, the department has incorporated new sub-priorities for each of the categories. The “development” category includes several of these new priorities:

  • Improving effectiveness of teachers or principals
  • Improving low-performing schools
  • Improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
  • Improving academic outcomes for students with disabilities
  • Improving academic outcomes for English learners (ELs)
  • Improving parent and family engagement
  • Effective use of technology
  • Serving rural communities

The department will announce the start of applications for the “validation” and “scale-up” categories later this spring.

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CTE Policy Watch Blog

Duncan Talks 2014 Budget on Capitol Hill

8/12/13 By: Mitch Following the release of President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request on Wednesday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee to defend the Administration’s plan for funding education in the coming fiscal year. In the budget proposal, the Administration suggests funding Perkins at 1.1 billion, equal to FY 2012 levels, before sequestration. Additionally, the budget proposes a $10 million increase for the National Programs line item which is designated for a new dual enrollment program focused on career preparation. Despite requests for an overall increase in education funding, the Administration's budget does not prioritize additional investments to meet the growing needs in CTE. During the hearing on Thursday, both Republican and Democratic members of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations subcommittee expressed apprehensions about the Administration’s strong focus on increasing funding for competitive grant programs. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), ranking-member of the subcommittee, talked about her concern for formula-funded education programs, like Perkins, which largely did not receive increases in funding. “The emphasis on competitive funding I find troubling,” said DeLauro. “What is need is steady secure funding for all of our schools to move toward improvement.” Federal investments in education must be directed to those areas with a proven track record of success that provide all students with equal access and opportunity. Members of the subcommittee will now begin to draft an appropriations bill that will fund Perkins in FY 2014. Let Congress know that it is time to make investing in Perkins a priority!

Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) Announces Career Counseling Bill

In a press release today, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) announced a bill designed to improve school counseling resources across the country. The Counseling for Career Choice Act of 2013 provides increased support and professional development for school counselors to have the resources and materials to help students make educated decisions about their future, whether it is a four-year university, career and technical education program in high school or other option.


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