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Education Innovation Networks (EIN)

Innovation Network Funds

The State Board approved the use of funds to create several Innovation Networks. The Innovation Grant Program was created with the passage of Legislative Bill 519 in 2015. The competitive grant program provided resources and opportunities to support the development, expansion, and investment in innovative best practices. The first grant projects ranged from personalized learning, career academies, after school design networks, and digital ecosystem development. The NDE will now establish a set of Education Innovation Networks to support statewide and district access and feature development. This Innovation Network supports NDE’s Commitment to Equity of “ensuring equity of access by supporting quality instructional materials.”  The Education Innovation Networks will provide an opportunity for interested districts to apply for future competitive grants.

Education Innovation Networks

ABOUT: This network supports three explorations and innovations: (1) Developing cohesive, flexible, and responsive career preparation ecosystems which enhances career development resources and tools; (2) a focus on expanding work-based learning opportunities, capacities, and resources, and; (3) support for regional innovations through the reVISION process.

ESTIMATED COST: To accomplish this Education Innovation Network, $2,750,000 would be obligated for contracts and competitive grant supports for the Network.

This Education Innovation Network builds upon the work of the Digital EcoSystem and focuses specifically on Data Visualization and Use for continuous school improvement.

This Education Innovation Networks will provide an opportunity for interested districts to apply for future competitive grants pursuant to §79-1054 for participation in the established Networks and become involved in building, supporting, and scaling innovations, as well as statewide implementation strategies, and enabling policy recommendations to support systemic improvement.

A part of this specific Network would include districts working with Don’t Panic Labs, based in Lincoln, Nebraska, for Application Development Services that would be part of the estimated cost of the funds being used. Additional resources for participating districts, professional learning, and broader communication are included in the budgeted estimates for the Network.


We are excited to offer a fourth cohort to join the Network this spring. This will be the final cohort of the Network. Members of the Network will participate in 6 free sessions open to all Nebraska ESU, district, and school-level staff that will help with setting strategic goals and improving educational outcomes by using the educational data that is already available.

The six data sessions will take place from 10:30-11:30am CT on Thursdays, bi-weekly from March through May 2024 on March 14, March 28, April 11, April 28, May 2 & May 16.

In addition to the sessions, Network members will also have the opportunity to participate in regular Data Network Communities of Practice with other data-driven educators in Nebraska, including an in-person gathering at the NDE 2024 Data Conference in Kearney, NE, from April 16-17.

Updated March 14, 2024 10:53am