Innovation grant applications open Friday

Starting Friday, Idaho schools can apply for a share of $100,000 in innovation grants.

The grants will go to as many as 10 innovative school projects around the state, on what amounts to a first-come, first-served basis. The innovation schools will not just receive money from the state; they may get permission to waive some state laws and rules.

Idahostatehouse“Participating schools and districts will evaluate existing laws and administrative rules to receive flexibility from laws and policies that impede local autonomy, allowing them to be agile, innovative and empowered to adapt to local circumstances,” according to the innovation school law, passed in the final days of the 2016 legislative session.

The State Board of Education will begin taking innovation school paperwork Friday.

At least one school district is already lining up for a share of the money. The Nampa School District has said it hopes to launch one of the state’s first innovation schools. The district hopes to open the Treasure Valley Leadership Academy; Superintendent David Peterson says the school would provide a “high-quality, personalized learning experience tied to real-world issues.” The district already has a $1 million grant for the school from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.

Disclosure: Idaho Education News is funded by a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.