Investing in Innovation (I3) Fund: SCALE-UP GRANTS

2015-08-04: Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII): Investing in Innovation (I3) Fund: SCALE-UP GRANTS CFDA Number 84.411A
Funding Opportunity Number: ED-GRANTS-060515-001
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement | Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Education
Eligible Applicants Others (see text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility" for clarification)
Agency Name: ED
Closing Date: 2015-08-04
Award Ceiling: $20,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 1
Description: Note: Each funding opportunity description is a synopsis of information in the Federal Register application notice. For specific information about eligibility, please see the official application notice. The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available on GPO Access at: Please review the official application notice for pre-application and application requirements, application submission information, performance measures, priorities and program contact information. Purpose of Program: The Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), established under section 14007 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), provides funding to support (1) local educational agencies (LEAs), and (2) nonprofit organizations in partnership with (a) one or more LEAs or (b) a consortium of schools. The i3 program is designed to generate and validate solutions to persistent educational challenges and to support the expansion of effective solutions to serve substantially larger numbers of students. The central design element of the i3 program is its multi-tier structure that links the amount of funding that an applicant may receive to the quality of the evidence supporting the efficacy of the proposed project. Applicants proposing practices supported by limited evidence can receive relatively small grants that support the development and initial evaluation of promising practices and help to identify new solutions to pressing challenges; applicants proposing practices supported by evidence from rigorous evaluations, such as large randomized controlled trials, can receive sizable grants to support expansion across the country. This structure provides incentives for applicants to build evidence of effectiveness of their proposed projects and to address the barriers to serving more students across schools, districts, and States. As importantly, all i3 projects are required to generate additional evidence of effectiveness. All i3 grantees must use part of their budgets to conduct independent evaluations (as defined in this notice) of their projects. This ensures that projects funded under the i3 program contribute significantly to improving the information available to practitioners and policymakers about which practices work, for which types of students, and in what contexts. The Department awards three types of grants under this program: "Development" grants, "Validation" grants, and "Scale-up" grants. These grants differ in terms of the level of prior evidence of effectiveness required for consideration of funding, the level of scale the funded project should reach, and, consequently, the amount of funding available to support the project. This notice invites applications for Scale-up grants only. The notice inviting applications for Validation grants is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. The notice inviting applications for Development grants was published in the Federal Register on March 30, 2015 (80 FR 16648) and is available at…. Scale-up grants provide funding to support expansion of projects supported by strong evidence of effectiveness (as defined in this notice) to the national level (as defined in this notice). In addition to improving outcomes for an increasing number of high-need students, Scale-up grants will generate information about the students and contexts for which a practice is most effective. We expect that Scale-up grants will increase practitioners' and policymakers' understanding of strategies that allow organizations or practices to expand quickly and efficiently while maintaining their effectiveness. All Scale-up grantees must evaluate the effectiveness of the i3-supported practice that the project implements and expands. This is particularly important in instances in which the proposed project includes changing the i3-supported practice in order to more efficiently reach the proposed level of scale (for example, by developing technology-enabled training tools). The evaluation of a Scale-up grant must identify the core elements of, and codify, the i3-supported practice that the project implements in order to support adoption or replication by other entities. We also expect that evaluations of Scale-up grants will be conducted in a variety of contexts and for a variety of students in order to determine the context(s) and population(s) for which the i3-supported practice is most effective. We remind LEAs of the continuing applicability of the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for students who may be served under i3 grants. Any grants in which LEAs participate must be consistent with the rights, protections, and processes established under IDEA for students who are receiving special education and related services or are in the process of being evaluated to determine their eligibility for such services. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.411A (Scale-up grants). Applications for grants under the i3 program,