The Biden-Harris Administration announced $277 million in grant funding to advance educational equity and innovation through the Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant program.

According to the Department of Education, state-administered test scores from the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years show some early signs of rebounding from the major disruptions of the pandemic, but not enough are back to pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, the Department of Education noted that the recovery has been uneven, with the students most impacted still furthest behind.

According to the White House, the new grant awards will help advance and equalize academic recovery, with $90.3 million for STEM, $87.2 million for social emotional well-being, including student engagement, and $76.5 million for projects in rural areas.

“This $277 million in grant awards from the Biden-Harris Administration will fund some of the nation’s most promising efforts to raise the bar for academic recovery, excellence, and equity in education,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

“I am especially excited to have the Department of Education support innovative efforts across the country to enhance literacy, math, and STEM instruction broadly in underserved communities and set the stage for young people to succeed, as well as learn how to address real-world problems in today’s most cutting-edge fields,” Cardona added. “All of this year’s grantees are pioneering exciting, evidence-based strategies to close opportunity gaps and provide young people with the engaging and impactful learning experiences they deserve so that they can achieve at high levels.”

According to the Department of Education, the EIR programs help create, implement, replicate, and expand entrepreneurial, evidence-based innovations to improve outcomes for historically underserved learners and to rigorously evaluate such innovations. The EIR grants have been awarded to 45 grantees to advance educational innovation, research, and develop new solutions to addressing persistent educational opportunity gaps for students who have been historically underserved.

“Diversity is the strength of our nation; it fuels innovation and progress. In celebration of the YOU Belong in STEM anniversary, the department is pleased to support these new EIR grantees that advance our goal to create a more inclusive STEM community, while also supporting student success in math and reading,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten.

The 2023 cohort of EIR grantees includes projects focused on incorporating AI into curriculum, gamification in the classroom, using technology to develop social and emotional skills, virtual learning initiatives, and incorporating data in the classroom.

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