"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Foundation $$$ + i3 = ???

From its very beginning, the i3 fund, a $650 million pot of cash set aside for competitive grants as part of the ARRA, was intended to be a public-private partnership between the Federal DOE and private philanthropy. The wording of the bill specifically states the i3 grants will only be given out to those able to secure matching funds.

Today it was announced that 12 major philanthropic donors - including the Gates Foundation and Walton Family Foundation - will put up $506 million in matching grants. It was hardly a surprise to see this formally announced; the Office of Innovation and Improvement, created under George W. Bush, was designed to operate like the various venture philanthropies.

From the AP:
Foundations offer $506M to match education grants

SEATTLE — A coalition of wealthy foundations is offering more than half a billion dollars to match federal grants meant to encourage education reform, taking the pressure off schools scrambling to find the matching dollars they need to get the money.

A dozen foundations plan to announce this week that they are investing $506 million in a matching fund for the $650 million federal government grant program, called Investing in Innovation.

The foundations also set up an Internet portal schools can use to apply for matching funds from all the foundations in one step, streamlining the task of seeking money from multiple sources. Schools have until May 12 to apply for the money, which will be paid out by the end of September.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he was ecstatic about the foundations' interest in the innovation program and called the partnership unprecedented.

"This is how we should be working together. This is how sectors should collaborate," Duncan said. "If this goes well, think of the possibilities going forward."


The group of foundations includes the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; Ford Foundation; John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Lumina Foundation; Robertson Foundation; The Wallace Foundation; Walton Family Foundation; William & Flora Hewlett Foundation; and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

More on this soon...

1 comment:

  1. That's a high-powered list. A circling of the wagons, so to speak. What are the criteria for defining "innovation"? Mainly free-market-based ones like choice and merit pay or ones to support ALL teachers and strengthen ALL schools?