The Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC) was launched in October 2010 by EDUCAUSE, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Council for K–12 Online Learning (iNACOL), and others to "dramatically improve college readiness and completion in the United States, maximizing student learning and closing achievement gaps, through the applied use of technology, particularly among low-income individuals."

NGLC releases funding in "waves" every 6 to 12 months. Wave III is focused on blended learning models, combining the best of brick-and-mortar education and online learning. Wave IIIa is intended for secondary education (defined as Grades 6–12) with a separate competition available for postsecondary institutions (Wave IIIb).

In this wave of funding, NGLC is seeking applications from charter and traditional districts to receive up to $150,000 towards planning a whole-school blended learning model. Both newly forming and existing charter schools are encouraged to apply. The final application deadline for Wave IIIa is June 8, 2012.