U.S. Department of Education Fulfills Administration Promise to Invest $200 Million in STEM Education

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that it has not only fulfilled but surpassed President Trump’s directive to invest $200 million in high-quality science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), including computer science, education. In total, the Department obligated $279 million in STEM discretionary grant funds in Fiscal Year 2018.

“It’s important that all students have access to a high-quality STEM education,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said. “These discretionary grant programs and this Administration’s increased focus on STEM will help ensure our nation’s students are exposed to STEM early in their lifelong education journeys and will have the tools needed for success in the 21st century economy.”

Full story at ed.gov

Education Department Is Rejecting University Grant Applications Because Of Double-Spacing

Universities making simple mistakes on Department of Education grant applications, like using the wrong spacing or type face, are losing thousands of dollars in federal funding.

At least 40 colleges and organizations applying for federal grants for Upward Bound, a program established in the 1960s that helps pay for low-income students to attend college, have been rejected for failing to follow strict guidelines regarding spacing and font, according to The Chronicle for Higher Education.

Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, which has received millions of dollars in federal funding over the last 50 years for the program, was rejected this year for violating a double-spacing rule that requires “no more than three lines per vertical inch.”

Full story of rejected grant applications at Huffington Post

Google commits $50 million to close the education gap

There are 130 million students around the world who haven’t learned basic math or reading, even after being in school for several years, according to UNESCO.

Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, wants to whittle down that number. Over the next two years, it’s giving $50 million in grants to nonprofits focused on improving education in developing countries using tech-based learning tools, the company said Tuesday. There are nine grantees so far, and Google.org intends to give grants to nonprofits in 20 countries by the end of the year.

“Technology can bypass the geographic and financial boundaries that block educational resources from reaching students, while also making those resources more engaging, interactive and effective,” Brigitte Hoyer-Gosselink, the education lead for Google.org, said in a blog post.

Full story of Google providing millions in grants for education at CNET

Historic Investment: $17.4 Million in Grants Available to Help Native Youth

The U.S. Department of Education today announced it is more than tripling—from $5.3 million to $17.4 million—the availability of funding for grants to help Native American youth become college- and career-ready.

The extra support is being provided for Native Youth Community Projects (NYCP) as an ongoing step toward implementing President Obama’s commitment to improving the lives of American Indian and Alaskan Native children. The grants will support the President’s Generation Indigenous “Gen I” Initiative to help Native American youth.

In a Federal Register notice, the Department said it expects to make approximately 19 demonstration awards ranging from $500,000 to $1 million to tribal communities before Sept. 30.

“In too many places across Indian Country, Native youth do not receive adequate resources to help prepare them for success in school or after graduation,” said Acting U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “The Native Youth Community Projects are an investment in bringing tribal communities together to change that reality, and dramatically transform the opportunities for Native youth. When tribal communities join together around shared goals for Native youth, we will see locally driven solutions coming from leaders who work most closely with students and are best-positioned to lead change.”

Full story of grants available for the native youth at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Awards $20 Million to Increase Access to Information and Communication Technologies for Individuals with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education announced today a grant of $20 million to the University of Wisconsin for a pilot project through the Disability Innovation Fund— Automated Personalization Computing Project (APCP). The grant is designed to improve broadband infrastructure so that devices automatically adjust into a format based on the user’s preferences and abilities. The project will help individual users find and specify the formats and accommodations that work best for them.

Individuals with disabilities often face barriers trying to access information or communication technologies in the various aspects of their lives, whether it is in education, employment, or day-to-day activities. The APCP has the chance to bring the maximum potential of the 21st century to the lives of people with disabilities by increasing access to information and communications technology and reducing barriers for people with disabilities. People with disabilities would be able to access, on a secure basis, this computer information no matter where they were, no matter what type of computer they were on, or what software programs were being used, so long as the computer was APCP-enabled with web access.

Full story of the grant for communication technologies for students with disabilities at ed.gov

College Students in 36 States to Benefit from Extra $23.4 Million in Student Support Services Grants Focused on Success in Higher Education

The U.S. Department of Education today announced an additional $23.4 million in Student Support Services grants to more than 100 institutions in 36 states, aimed at helping college students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in higher education.

Today’s announcement comes less than a month after the Department announced the initial round of Student Support Services awards totaling $270 million for 968 institutions in all 50 states.

“We were fortunate to be able to provide additional assistance to colleges and universities to help give students the extra push they may need to graduate from college,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “These grants provide critical help and encouragement along students’ college journey, enabling them to reach their personal goals and contribute to the economic vitality of our nation.” Typical projects include providing students with academic tutoring, assistance in course selection, information about financial aid and economic literacy, and support and resources, as well as helping students transfer from two- to four-year colleges or from undergraduate to graduate or professional studies.

Full story of students to benefit from extra support grants at ed.gov

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on 2015 Building a Grad Nation Report

More young people are graduating from high school today than ever before—and gaps in graduation rates are closing—even as standards are rising. The credit for these gains goes to educators, students, parents and community partners. Yet we know that, in today’s knowledge-based economy, a high school diploma isn’t enough. So while we should be encouraged by projections like the one in this year’s Grad Nation report, we know that more hard work remains to truly prepare all—not just some—students for success in college, careers and life. Education must be the equalizer that can help overcome the odds stacked against too many of our students.

Full story on the grad nation report at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Announces $60 Million Available for First in the World Grant Competition

As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to drive innovations in higher education and increase college completion, affordability and quality outcomes, the U.S. Department of Education today announced the availability of $60 million in Fiscal Year 2015 in the First in the World (FITW) program. FITW grants will fund the development and testing of innovative approaches and strategies to improve postsecondary education attainment. Of the $60 million available this year, the competition has a set-aside of $16 million for institutions designated as minority-serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“Through the First in the World program, the Obama Administration is calling on colleges and universities to help develop the most promising approaches to improve outcomes for students, particularly for those who are underrepresented, underprepared or from low income backgrounds,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said.” We look forward to hearing from institutions as they seek to pioneer new and innovative ways to increase college success.”

Full story of first in the world grant competition at ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education Awards Nearly $570,000 Grant to University of California, Santa Barbara Following a Shooting Last Year

The U.S. Department of Education today announced a nearly $570,000 grant to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) to assist with ongoing mental health services following a shooting near the campus in May 2014. The immediate services grant, which is being made through the Department’s Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) program and administered by the Office of Safe and Healthy Students, will provide mental health support to the campus.

The Department makes two types of Project SERV awards—Immediate Services and Extended Services. Immediate Services grants provide emergency, short-term assistance to affected school districts or colleges and universities. Extended Services grants assist school districts and colleges and universities in carrying out the long-term recovery efforts that may be needed following a significant, traumatic event.

Full story of grant to University following a shooting at ed.gov

24 New Teacher Quality Partnership Grants Totaling More Than $35 Million Awarded to Recruit, Train and Support More Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Teachers

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the award of $35 million for 24 new partnerships between universities and high-need school districts that will recruit, train and support more than 11,000 teachers over the next five years—primarily in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields—to improve student achievement. These awards are the culmination of this year’s Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant competition that President Obama announced in May at the White House Science Fair.

For the first time, this year’s TQP competition focuses on preparing STEM teachers, and increasing the participation of underrepresented groups—women, minorities and people with disabilities—in teaching STEM subjects. The 2014 TQP grantees will train teachers in a wide variety of approaches to STEM instruction, from early learning through high school levels. This advances on the goal that President Obama set in his 2011 State of the Union address to prepare 100,000 STEM teachers over the next decade with strong teaching skills and deep content knowledge. In addition, answering the President’s call to action, nearly 200 organizations have formed a coalition called 100Kin10, all committed to the goal of increasing the supply of excellent STEM teachers.

Full story of teacher quality grants at ed.gov