Idaho Gets $21.8 Million For Reading First
Idaho will receive more than $3.3 million from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) for the first year of a multi-year Reading First grant to help schools and districts improve children’s reading achievement using scientifically proven methods of instruction.
The state’s application passed a review panel that judged the plan against 25 main review criteria. Over six years, Idaho will receive approximately $21.8 million in support, subject to the state’s successful implementation and congressional appropriations. Idaho is the 18th state to be funded under the new program.
The grant announced today supports critical improvements in classroom reading instruction based on proven methods of instruction, screening and diagnosis of reading difficulties, monitoring of student progress, and thorough and high-quality professional development for teachers. States will build a statewide infrastructure to guide reform and assist school districts that will be funded under a state-run competition for district subgrants.
This spring, Idaho plans to hold a competition for eligible school districts to compete for subgrants and the state plans to support some 25 schools in eligible school districts with the new funds. Idaho will also hold Grade Level Academies to provide professional development for all K-3 educators, with a focus on the implementation of scientifically based reading research in the classroom.
Reading First was passed into law by a bipartisan majority of Congress under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and centers on the following priorities:
– Raising the caliber and quality of classroom instruction;
– Basing instruction on scientifically proven methods;
– Providing professional training for educators in reading instruction;
– Supplying substantial resources to support the unprecedented initiative.
To help them develop quality programs and solid Reading First applications, states had the benefit this spring of nearly three days of assistance during the Secretary’s Reading Leadership Academies, to which all states sent representatives.
State applications undergo a rigorous review by a panel of reading experts, selected by the secretary of education, the National Institute for Literacy, the National Research Council, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
DOE has announced awards to Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington.