U.S. Representative Jared Polis of Colorado’s 2nd District has introduced the Investing in Innovation in Education Act.
The purpose of H.R. 3433 is to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. This bill was assigned to the House Education and the Workforce congressional committee Oct. 30, which will consider it before possibly sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole.
According to the statement released by Rep. Polis, the Investing in Innovation in Education Act “codifies, updates, and improves” the current Investing in Innovation (i3) program, which “supports innovative solutions to common education challenges.” The program awards competitive grants to applicants in order to expand innovative practices.
Several school districts in Colorado receive funds through the i3 program, including St. Vrain Valley School District, which received a $3.6 million development grant, and the Denver School District, which was granted $25 million to improve teacher and principal effectiveness.
In his statement, Rep. Polis said, “Across the country, communities are developing solutions to our nation’s most pressing educational challenges. The Investing in Innovation program harnesses the power of entrepreneurship and innovation so that these projects can scale to reach more students and families, while also building a research base of best practices from which everyone can benefit.”
The bill introduces changes to the current i3 program, including dedicating 25 percent of funding to rural schools, to “address educational challenges specific to these populations.” The act also adds focus on improving teacher and principal preparation and support, and prioritizes early stage applicants to support new education models.
“The Investing in Innovation in Education Act will give a new generation of Americans the chance to develop promising new ideas and to prove their worth based on scientific evidence,” said Charlie Barone, policy director for Democrats for Education Reform, in a prepared statement.
A similar bill, S. 283, was introduced in February by Senator Mark Begich of Alaska and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. No further action has been taken since February.