Ed Dept awards $123M in grants promoting STEM innovation

The U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Friday announced $123 million in new grant funds distributed to 41 school districts, nonprofits and state educational agencies, according to a U.S. Department of Education press release. Awarded states received anywhere between $1.4 and $8.6 million to fund innovative programs meant to improve academic achievement for high-need students. Of the grant money, $30 million was awarded to eight districts, organizations or state agencies in rural areas, while over $78 million was distributed to nearly 30 grantees to fund STEM projects and education. Out of the latter, an overwhelming majority also included a specific focus on computer science. The grants were awarded as part of the Education Innovation and Research Program (EIR), which was established under the Obama administration in 2016. At its conception, the program was to allocate approximately a fourth of its grant funds to support rural areas, and all funds were meant to help support grantees in finding innovated solutions to overcome persistent educational challenges facing underserved students and boost achievement.

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