Monday, March 19, 2018

Tangipahoa slated to receive $120K reading grant in BESE vote

Posted: Monday, January 22, 2018 | Views: 894

Tangipahoa slated to receive $120K reading grant in BESE vote
BATON ROUGE---Tangipahoa stands to gain $120,000-plus in federal grant funds for reading and writing readiness in a vote coming before the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Wednesday.

On Wednesday BESE will vote to award nearly $12 million in grant funding to support 56 school systems across the state as they create and implement initiatives to improve the reading and writing skills of struggling students. Tangipahoa's portion of that funding is $120,514.

The subgrants draw from a a three-year, $55.5 million Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) grant Louisiana received from the federal government in October 2017. The SRCL grant aims to advance the pre-literacy, reading and writing skills of disadvantaged youth, birth through grade 12, including English learners and students with disabilities. Louisiana was one of 11 states selected to benefit from the federal grant, and the only state to receive the award three consecutive times.

"Louisiana's fourth-graders saw more growth in reading than other in the nation on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress," said State Superintendent John White. "We've made great progress, but there is still much left to do. Only half of our students enter kindergarten ready, and by fourth grade, just 36 percent read and write on grade level. This grant will accelerate our efforts by providing students and families with a strong foundation based in research and by supporting a cadre of reading and writing educator experts across the state."

The Louisiana Department of Education launched a competitive subgrant application process for school systems following the announcement of the federal award, and 145 applications were submitted. Of those submissions, 56 were selected following an independent review process. (Click here to view a complete list of recipients).

The selected school systems will receive their specific award amounts each year for three years, pending an annual evaluation of their progress. Grant funds will be used to:
*Purchase popular children's books and teacher tools needed to implement high-quality literacy curriculum aligned with the state standards;
*Administer meaningful literacy assessments and use the results from those tests to better determine the needs of all students and ways to serve them;
*Implement evidence-based intervention programs that accelerate student learning and help those reading below grade level get back on track; and
*Provide professional development to educators to help them learn new literacy curriculum and develop effective teaching practices.

Livingston Parish is expected to receive $703,000; St. Helena will receive $351,500, and Washington Parish is earmarked to receive $281,200, according to the grant allocation worksheet.

"We are more than excited to be awarded SRCL funding again," said West Baton Rouge Parish Schools Superintendent Wes Watts, noting his school system received subgrants from this federal award from 2011 to 2016. "We will be able to build on the tremendous progress we have made with our students in the most fundamental skill of learning literacy. Too many times we get to start an initiative but not see it through because funding sources end. This grant funding will give our teachers and school leaders the opportunity to see our literacy efforts impact students from birth through graduation."

In addition to the grants awarded this week, the Department plans to award an additional $6 million in funding this summer, bringing the total amount of grant awards to nearly $18 million for the first year. The Department will host similar competitive application processes each year for the remainder of the three-year federal grant period.
For more information about the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program, click here.