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Deadline Ticks Down for Next Regional Labs

There's little more than a week left for applications for the next round of regional education labs, and there have been five updates to the competition In the last week.

The contracts for the RELs got off to a pretty rocky start this spring, as Congress threatened to eliminate the program entirely, and for a while it looked as though the current labs might not receive the money to complete their existing work. The Institute for Education Sciences released the final, official request for proposals after the Senate secured a last-minute budget reprieve for the program.

The contract proposal says that IES now expects to provide $345 million for the labs from fiscal years 2012 to 2017, with each region taking the following portions:

• Appalachia, 8.2 percent
• Central, 8.5 percent
• Mid-Atlantic, 8.9 percent
• Midwest, 13.1 percent
• Northeast and Islands, 10.4 percent
• Northwest, 8.4 percent
• Pacific, 7 percent
• Southeast, 11.2 percent
• Southwest, 11.7 percent
• West, 12 percent

One of the 10 labs would be chosen to receive the remaining .6 percent to coordinate and disseminate research from the lab network as a whole.

Many of the tweaks to the competition clarify how the labs should prove their prior success in running education research centers and flesh out the new research alliances they are expected to develop with states and districts. IES also conducted recent Webinars giving more details on what it hopes to see in the next iteration of the lab network (and a hat-tip to Jim Kohlmoos of the Knowledge Alliance for pointing these out).

The final deadline for the new RELs is June 29 at 2 p.m.

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