New round of US grants for education innovation

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SEATTLE (AP) -- The federal government is trying to make it easier to apply for one of its grants for innovative ideas to improve education. But with budget cuts there's a lot less money to give away this year.

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education gave out $650 million to 49 school districts, charter organization, colleges, universities and other nonprofit organizations with entrepreneurial ideas for improving the nation's schools. The U.S. Department of Education is announcing Friday that this year there's $150 million available for the second round of Investments in Innovation, or i3 grants.

Nearly 1,700 groups applied for the 2010 grants. Applications are due in August and grants of up to $25 million will be rewarded by the end of this year.