K12 GRANT AWARDS
Before the close of the federal fiscal year, the Department announced grant awards under a number of additional programs. First, $28 million in grants were awarded to 46 school districts and non-profit groups to improve the literacy skills of low-income students (http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-education-department-awards-28-million-boost-literacy-skills-low-income-stude). These grants are designed to increase student achievement by promoting early literacy for young children and by motivating older children to read. Beyond high-quality literacy activities, grantees will also distribute free books to children and their families.
Second, $9.9 million in grants were awarded to three states to improve statewide academic assessments (http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-awards-more-99-million-grants-three-states-improve-their).
Third, $290 million in grants were awarded to 35 states, districts, and groups to improve pay structures, reward great teachers and principals, and provide greater professional opportunities to teachers in high-poverty schools (http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-boosts-district-led-efforts-recognize-and-reward-great-t).
The 2012 Teacher Incentive Fund competition encouraged applicants to enhance educator compensation systems through one of two models: career ladders or performance-based pay with the option for additional responsibilities. With either model, applicants were able to submit a general proposal or a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-focused proposal.
Fourth, $52 million was awarded to 22 Comprehensive Centers to raise the capacity of states to help districts and schools meet student achievement goals (http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/education-department-awards-52-million-grants-23-comprehensive-centers-advance-r). Fifth, over $1.5 million was awarded to 17 institutions of higher education to create, plan, develop, and implement programs to strengthen and improve undergraduate instruction in international studies and foreign languages (http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-awards-more-15-million-strengthen-and-improve-undergradu) and over $2.9 million was awarded to 23 institutions and groups to support overseas projects in research, training, and curriculum development (http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/29-million-grants-awarded-fulbright-hays-international-education-projects).