Louisiana Granted Millions for Student and Teacher Support

On October 14, 2019, the Louisiana Department of Education announced being awarded five competitive federal grants, totaling $115 million. These grants will be utilized for student and teacher support.

Louisiana Believes states the grants will be utilized towards enhancing the literacy programming and instruction; increasing mental health services for students, including those with past trauma and those who are historically at a disadvantage; help teacher earn credentials in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (also known as S.T.E.M.); and initiate a leadership program for both current and future special education administrators.

“The U.S. Department of Education continues to recognize Louisiana as a state that generates creative ideas to solve critical problems. These five new awards will support the implementation of plans to address many of our schools’ and students’ greatest challenges. We look forward to collaborating with state agencies, school systems and community partners to implement effective solutions to these pressing concerns.” says State Superintendent John White.

The grants, varying in dollar amount and length, include:

  • Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant for Student and Teacher Support

The largest grant, it totals $100 million over the span of five years. It will contribute to literacy support for schools that identify as having low academic performance across the state by helping purchase top-rated reading curricula and instructional materials, provide educators with access to professional development, provide support to students who struggle with reading, and provide evidence-based literary resources for families. Louisiana Department of Education’s goal is “to serve 600 high-needs schools and early childhood education providers, 2,000 local leaders, 9,600 teachers, and 240,000 disadvantaged children by the end of the five-year grant period.”

  • Trauma Recovery Grant for Student and Teacher Support

This $7.5 million award spans 5 years and will help provide and increase mental health services in an effort to increase academic performance and decrease absence and decrease discipline rates. “The state education department will partner with the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) and community agencies to pay for direct mental health services for students who have experienced trauma, with a particular focus on low-income, foster, homeless, and migrant students.”

  • Improving Pre-Engineering and Computer Science Education through Micro-credentialing Grant

Totaling $4 million over 4 years, the award will develop a pathway for teachers to earn certificates of expertise in STEM fields and encourage the expansion of STEM pathways in the school systems.

  • Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant for Student and Teacher Support

Funding a partnership between Louisiana Believes and LSU School of Social Work, the $2.5 million award will encourage an effort to expand and strengthen the school-based mental health force over a 5 year time frame. The “Louisiana School Social Work Expansion Project” aims to provide mental health services to high-needs schools and improve the culture and climate to foster a healthy attitude and prepare students for employment and to lead fulfilling lives as responsible citizens,

  • Special Education Leadership Grant for Student and Teacher Support

This award, which totals $1 million and spans 5 years, is intended to establish a “Special Education Leader Fellowship”. The fellowship will span a year and be a comprehensive development program for current and future special education leaders across Louisiana.

For more education related information, click here.

 

 

Gates Foundation Gives $92 Million in Grants

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced $92 million in grants to help students of color and low-income students into college—marking its first major wave of K-12 giving since last fall.  The money is divided into 19 separate grants that will support improvements in everything from middle school language arts, to Algebra 1, to solving the problem of “undermatching,”—when high-achieving, low-income students select colleges that are less ambitious or rigorous than what their track records qualify them for. “Rather than coming in with a bright, shiny new idea, we’re asking districts, schools, and intermediaries to look at investments they’ve already made, and we’re trying to make that last-mile investment that enables them to connect their work, to set the strategies or data that will enable them to be successful for students,” said Robert Hughes, the foundation’s director of K-12 education. It’s a remarkably different strategy than its past K-12 philanthropy. The foundation received about 530 applications for the first cohort of giving, Gates officials said, and it plans to roll out more grants sometime in the fall. Below are brief descriptions of the 19 winners; all the grants are targeted to help black, Latino, and low-income students.

  • Achieve Atlanta
  • The Baltimore City school district 
  • The Bank Street College of Education 
  • California Education Partners
  • The Center for Leadership and Educational Equity
  • City Year 
  • The Community Foundation of Texas 
  • The Community Center for Education Results 
  • The CORE Districts
  • The High Tech High Graduate School of Education 
  • The Institute for Learning
  • KIPP
  • The Network for College Success 
  • New Visions for Public Schools
  • The Northwest Regional Education Service District
  • Partners in School Innovation 
  • Seeding Success
  • The Southern Regional Education Board 
  • Teach Plus

Click here for more information.

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LA May Receive Millions in Education Grants

The Louisiana Board will take to the polls soon to choose whether to award more than $10 million in education grants to go towards 67 school systems across the state specifically to improve the reading and writing skills of struggling students.

The main focus of this funding is “to advance the pre-literacy, reading and writing skills of disadvantaged youth, birth through grade 12, including English learners and students with disabilities.” There were only 11 states in the US to be chosen to receive this funding and Louisiana was one of them.

According to State Superintendent John White, “Research shows the early grades are vital for later school success. The key skills students develop one year must be built upon and reinforced the next.  As we enter into the second year of this grant, we must focus our attention on ensuring our children have access to a high-quality continuum of learning that could make a difference in positive, long term achievement outcomes.”

In order to fulfill the grant requirements, if awarded each of the 67 school systems implement the following 4 policies:

  • Extend CLASS, a nationally regarded system of measures used in Louisiana’s early childhood accountability system to evaluate teacher-student interactions, into Kindergarten classrooms;
  • Collaborate with experts to review students’ writing samples to gauge their knowledge of language and conventions in grade 1;
  • Adopt classroom observation tools to measure teachers’ use of standards-aligned materials that impact student learning experiences in grades 1 and 2; and
  • Implement a new skills check-up at the end of grade 2 to provide insight on students’ mastery of literacy and numeracy.

For more details on educational grant funding in Louisiana, click here.

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Louisiana Awards $1.5 Million to Improve Early Childhood Education

 

Louisiana is doing big things to make a difference in the lives of their youth. Starting at the bottom, the Louisiana Department of Education awarded a $1.5 million grant funding the improvement of early childhood education and its quality. The eight communities affected by this grant include: Calcasieu, Concordia, Iberville, Jefferson, Orleans, Rapides, St. John the Baptist, and Tangipahoa parishes.

The Department of Education stated on their website, “The grant, a supplement to the federal Preschool Development Grant, will provide teachers at low-performing sites in eight communities with professional development designed to strengthen teacher-child interactions and classroom instruction and to improve kindergarten readiness.”

For more information on the funding, you can read the full article here.

Louisiana Schools Systems Receive Funding To Improve Reading, Writing

 

The Louisiana Department of Education has stated in this press release that The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education had a vote this past Wednesday 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.

As stated in the article, “The subgrants draw from 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.”