Friday, April 02, 2010

Rural school advocacy group to help rural educators compete for federal innovation grants

As schools prepare applications for "Investing in Innovation" grants from the Department of Education, some officials are concerned that rural schools might be at a disadvantage due to lack of resources for support in the process. Now The Rural School and Community Trust wants to help by providing "customized technical assistance for rural school districts seeking i3 grants," says a news release from the organization. The program will be funded by a $1.4 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Trust is planing on-site workshops and other outreach efforts to ensure that rural applicants are informed of the requirements and process, and says it will "assist rural school applicants in identifying promising innovations, completing applications, and building long-term capacity to complete competitive grant applications in the future." Dr. Doris Terry Williams, executive director of the Trust, said in the release, "Our partnership with the Kellogg Foundation will provide vital support to strengthen rural districts’ capacity to secure funding for innovations aimed at reducing dropout rates, increasing graduation rates, and improving teacher and principal quality in high-needs schools."

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan praised the partnership in a statement: "Rural schools and their partners know what works in their communities. I have seen examples of great innovations happening in rural schools, and we want to see these ideas shared and replicated. The Department has reached out to the philanthropic community to discuss ways to increase support for high-need schools. We must work together to ensure all schools can compete for the millions in federal discretionary grants that are available to grow programs that work regardless of their size or location."

For more information about the program visit its Web site here.

No comments: