Foundations will work to improve schools in 2010
April 30, 2010
President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have declared the U.S. to be in a state of education crisis, reported the National Institute of Health's Office of Science Education. To counter this problem, Obama and Duncan initiated a $650-million dollar program, Investing in Innovation.
It seems many foundations are taking a page out of the president's book. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, 12 national foundations recently announced they will spend $506 million on grants this year to bolster the Investing in Innovation, or I3, program.
The source says the I3 program will provide funds to improve teacher and principal effectiveness and develop academic standards to turn around low-performing schools. I3 fund recipients must match 20 percent of the grant money with private funds.
Michele Cahill, a vice president at Carnegie Corporation of New York, told the source, "we see this as a real moment of opportunity for the country." The Carnegie Corporation of New York is coordinating the effort with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The source reports that the grantmakers have created an online registry to make it simple for groups to apply for and share information about I3 grants. Then, foundations will try to help school districts and nonprofits meet the required matching funds.
Education-focused organization leaders may consider applying for I3 funds to boost their nonprofit fundraising efforts - and their community school systems - this year.