Deal announces Innovation Fund grant award winners

October 5, 2015

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced 12 Innovation Fund grant award winners, a competitive grant program that provides more than $4.1 million to local education authorities and schools to further advance student achievement in Georgia. 

“These deserving organizations and programs are dedicated to academic achievement throughout Georgia,” said Deal. “I am confident this funding will help give schools and education groups a greater opportunity to focus on STEM development and student growth. Together, we will continue working to ensure every Georgia student is given the tools necessary for academic achievement.”

The programs are aligned in the following priority areas: applied learning with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, development and replication of blended learning school models and birth to age eight language and literacy development models. Grantees will evaluate the effectiveness of their programs and submit their findings to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.  The state will use these findings to determine best practices in STEM education, applied learning, birth to age eight language and literacy development and blended learning.

The grant award winners, along with a description of the type of grant awarded, are listed below.

Planning Grants
Planning grants will provide each winner up to $10,000 over one year to research and develop an innovative education program aligned with one of the Innovation Fund priority areas.
Baldwin County Board of Education
Read Baldwin County
Decatur County Schools
Building Personalized Learning Communities in Decatur County
Forsyth County Schools
Let’s Get Personal: Meeting Learners Where They Are
Rome City Schools – Elm Street Elementary
STEM in 3D – Dream, Design, DO!
Rome City Schools – North Heights Elementary
Growing Up Green
Whitfield County Schools
Beyond the Classroom
Implementation Grants
Implementation grants will provide each winner between $600,000 and $700,000 over two years to pilot an innovative education program aligned with one of the Innovation Fund priority areas.
Carroll County Schools
Step into STEM
Charles R. Drew Charter School
21st Century Literacy in the Making
Lowndes County Schools
BLAST – Boosting Learning Through Authentic STEM Teaching
Morgan County Charter School System
STEAM N-RG (Network-Resources for Georgia)
Scaling Grants
Scaling grants will provide each winner $700,000 over two years to scale a successful existing program to serve more students, teachers, or leaders.
Atlanta Public Schools
Read Right from the Start
Bibb County Schools – Westside High School
Westside Flexible High School and Modular Scheduling for Personalized Learning
Descriptions of the winning proposals can be found on the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement website.
About the Innovation Fund
The Innovation Fund invests in public education entities that aggressively develop and scale programs that enable Georgia educators to improve student performance and to tackle our state’s most significant challenges in education. The fund began as a $19.4 million fund under Georgia’s Race to the Top plan. During Race to the Top, the Innovation Fund provided 23 grants to programs focused on providing applied learning opportunities to students, creating teacher and leader induction programs, growing the teacher and leader pipeline, and developing or expanding charter schools. To continue the Innovation Fund’s work beyond Race to the Top, Gov. Deal has appropriated state funding in the Fiscal Year 2015 and 2016 budgets that the legislature approved. The state will also seek contributions from philanthropic organizations, nonprofits, and businesses as a continuing source of start-up capital for promising innovations. The Innovation Fund also operates the Innovation in Teaching Competition, a recognition and reward opportunity for teachers who utilize innovative teaching strategies to advance student achievement. More information about the Innovation Fund can be found on the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement website.