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English-Learners Set to Benefit From i3 Grants

More than half the grants from the federal Investing in Education, or i3, fund will serve English-language learners and students with disabilities, according to a federal official, my colleague Michele McNeil reports in EdWeek. She listed the 49 winning applicants yesterday over at Politics K-12.

James H. Shelton, the department's deputy assistant secretary for innovation and improvement, told Michele that a majority of grants would benefit ELLs and students with disabilities.

Education News Colorado has highlighted two Colorado i3 grant recipients that propose to improve teaching and learning for English-language learners.

The Denver district has been awarded a $25 million "validation" grant to implement a literacy intervention aimed at addressing the linguistic and academic needs of ELLs and students with disabilities. St. Vrain Valley school system in Longmont, Colo., has been awarded $3.6 million in "development" funds for interventions targeting Hispanic and ELL students at the district's Skyline High School and its feeder schools. The interventions focus on literacy support for elementary students, a math focus for middle school students, and science interventions for high school students, according to a summary description of the project provided by the U.S. Department of Education. The department posted summaries of all the projects of the 49 grant recipients.

I haven't learned of many examples of stimulus fund support for initiatives to benefit English-language learners. In May 2009, I reported on four urban districts that had plans to target federal stimulus money for such students. But until the Education Department's announcement yesterday, I hadn't heard of other initiatives where ELLs were targeted to benefit from stimulus funds.

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