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i3 Winners Meet Deadline to Raise $18 Million in Private Funds

Before the 23 winners of the U.S. Department of Education's $150 million Investing in Innovation program could cash in on their grants, they had to secure matching funds from private donors.

Today, the department announced they all met their match—raising $18 million by the Dec. 9 deadline.

This year's private match requirement was easier to meet than last year's, when all winners had to secure 20 percent in private funds before they could cash in. There was even a last-minute scramble for those private dollars before everyone eventually made it.

As a result, the department changed the rules to decrease the amount of matching funds to between 5 percent and 15 percent, depending on the category won.

The school districts, nonprofits, and groups of schools that won this year's i3 contest will receive between $3 million and $25 million to implement their projects. The funding came from the fiscal 2011 budget approved in the spring by Congress, but is an extension of the $650 million i3 program started under the economic-stimulus package of 2009.

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