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Forecasting Education Technology Funding

Mar 16

Written by: Grants Office, LLC
Friday, March 16, 2012  RssIcon

By Ali Palmieri
March 2012

In today’s classroom, technology has become a huge component of the curriculum for teachers and students. School districts are racing to keep up with lightning speed of changing technologies while also dealing with decreasing budgets. Over the past several years education technology funding has decreased significantly. Programs like Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) have been dismantled and other technology programs have been scaled back. Unfortunately, these grants that focus on math, science, and technology provided support to programs that are absolutely essential to a student’s education and will greatly impact their future success.

Current programs that focus on education technology and are expected to continue for the upcoming years are 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC), Investing in Innovation (i3), Innovative Technology Experience for Students and Teachers (ITEST) and Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT).

Due to the limited funding opportunities, applicants should vet projects as much as possible before applying and follow program guidelines perfectly. Most of these programs are looking for the most innovative projects that will affect the greatest number of people and have the ability to continue after funding periods end. Outlined below are the main programs and their respective funding outlooks.

21st Century Community Learning Centers
This program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. 21st CCLC has state allocations which then can be distributed to competitive competitions. State program deadlines are rolling out daily so be on the lookout for this versatile program in your state. The FY12 allocation was $1,151,673,000 which was down only slightly from FY2011 at $ 1,153,854,000.

Investing in Innovation (i3)
These grants will (1) allow eligible entities to expand and develop innovative practices that can serve as models of best practices, (2) allow eligible entities to work in partnership with the private sector and the philanthropic community, and (3) identify and document best practices that can be shared and taken to scale based on demonstrated success. In FY2011 the total funds awarded was $148,064,455. So far the Development portion of this grant program has been released. The estimated funds available in 2012 are $140,452,000. The estimated average size of awards for Scale-up grants- $24,000,000. Validation grants- $14,500,000 and Development Grants- $3,000,000. The Development grants pre-application is due April 9, 2012. Solicitations for Scale-Up and Validation grants have not yet been released for FY12.

Innovative Technology Experience for Students and Teachers (ITEST)
The ITEST program is funded by H-1B visa revenues in direct response to the need to ensure a high-quality future STEM and ICT workforce that can meet U.S. technology needs. NSF is currently revising the solicitation and it is anticipated that a new solicitation will be released in late summer 2012. Scale-up projects ranged from three to five years in duration, with award sizes at most $2 million.

Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT)
The Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Program is specifically designed to meet the educational and health care needs of rural America through the use of advanced telecommunications technologies. The estimated FY11 funding available was $14 million in 2012 this program is anticipated to have similar funding amounts.

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