Alabama Expands Use of LETRS Professional Learning Course Statewide

BOSTON (Aug. 16, 2021) – Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, announced today that all schools throughout Alabama can now boost literacy instruction via LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional learning. This professional learning experience provides the knowledge and tools for successfully applying the science of reading in classrooms. The Alabama State Department of Education funding is to support kindergarten through third grade teachers, in addition to Pre-K, administrators, and other support positions that impact K-3 literacy in the state. Educators can earn continuing education units (CEUs) or professional learning units (PLUs).

“This implementation shows Alabama’s commitment to supporting all teachers of foundational literacy,” said Lexia Learning and Voyager Sopris Learning President, Nick Gaehde. “Our LETRS professional learning program has more than a decade of demonstrated success in schools and districts across the United States, and it’s been proving itself in Alabama cohorts over the last few years.”

The Alabama State Department of Education adopted use of LETRS as part of the Alabama Literacy Act, which in addition to providing foundational literacy support, also provides intensive support for the state’s lowest performing elementary schools. Even before the act was signed into law, Alabama was piloting the program with a small cohort during 2018. At that time, 109 participants completed the LETRS for Early Childhood Educators course, and 97.2% showed growth in knowledge. Approximately 200 elementary educators participated in the LETRS Third Edition course during this pilot.…Read More

3 strategies for making the most of education funding

As school districts across the country make plans for their stimulus funding, it’s critical that they prioritize the purchases that will spur equitable student growth.

To ensure short-term relief funds have a long-term impact, here are three key strategies district and school leaders can utilize.

Strategy #1: Understand how the funding works and consider its intention. …Read More

Online petition urges computer science education funding

Policy makers, educators, and the private sector ask for federal investments in computer science education

An online petition urges Congress to provide $250 million to help schools and districts integrate computer science into the curriculum.

In a letter sent to Congress, the authors note that technology is quickly changing society, and “participating in this world requires access to computer science in our schools.”

They also state that more than 100 school districts are working to roll out computer science courses, and 20 states have passed policies around the subject and are in the process of identifying professional development for computer science teachers. But despite pockets of growth, three-quarters of U.S. schools do not offer meaningful computer science courses.…Read More

April: 5 education grants you don’t want to miss

School grants offer some much-needed financial help for schools

april-grantSchool funding difficulties show no sign of abating, and school budgets are stretched to the limit. Many educators and administrators rely on school grants to fund important projects and opportunities for students.

Each month, eSchool News editors compile a list of the most current education grants expiring soon—from a focus on professional development for arts educators to funding that helps improve school leadership. You don’t want to miss out on these April school funding opportunities for teachers, students, parents, and administrators.

(Next page: April’s funding opportunities)…Read More

4 ways to leverage federal funds for ed-tech

Federal funding can help support ed-tech goals in a school or district

ed-tech-fundingEducation technology is a priority in today’s classrooms, and this includes ensuring that students have access to technology tools and high-speed internet to access digital learning resources.

While school budgets are still burdened, federal funding programs, including formula and competitive grant programs, can funnel funds directly to digital learning opportunities, even if program rules and statutes do not explicitly reference ed-tech.

In an open letter to educators, Richard Culatta, the U.S. Department of Education’s director of the Office of Educational Technology, outlines some ways that federal funds from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), along with funds from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), can support ed-tech goals to use technology tools to improve teaching and learning.…Read More

House committee targets education funding

To deal with the cuts imposed by sequestration, the House Appropriations Committee has chosen to target certain departments—including Education—instead of spreading the cuts across all agencies.

Republicans controlling the House of Representatives pressed ahead May 21 with a plan to slash spending on certain domestic programs—including education—far deeper than the cuts these departments already face under a painful round of automatic austerity.

Military Construction/Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, and the Pentagon would be spared under the plan approved by the House Appropriations Committee on a party-line vote, but total funding for education, health, and labor programs would absorb a cut of 18 percent below fiscal year 2013 levels adopted in March.…Read More

Obama, Romney spar over education funding

During the debate, Romney insisted, “I’m not going to cut education funding. I don’t have a plan to cut education funding.”

President Barack Obama said his Republican rival for the presidency, Mitt Romney, favors cutting the Education Department’s budget by up to 20 percent, while Romney insisted that was false. The moment was one of many during their first debate in which the two candidates disagreed sharply over policy decisions with important implications for schools.

Seeking to draw a distinction between himself and Romney, Obama recalled a teacher he met in Las Vegas who had students sitting on the floor and using 10-year-old textbooks. He suggested that Romney’s plans to cut taxes by 20 percent across the board while also cutting federal spending don’t add up—and they won’t allow the nation to make important new investments in research and education.…Read More

Bleak outlook for education spending under sequestration

Sequestration will trigger huge education spending cuts: across-the-board cuts of more than 8 percent to federal programs.

As schools face ever-increasing budget dilemmas, education stakeholders are desperately hoping to avoid sequestration, or across-the-board cuts, to domestic spending next year—cuts that could devastate education programs and affect many of the country’s neediest students, experts say.

To avoid a government shutdown in 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, which increased the national debt ceiling in exchange for a major reduction to federal deficits. Congress set limits to federal spending for 10 years and created a “supercommittee” tasked with creating legislation to reduce the deficit.…Read More

Nearly 900 districts to apply for Race to the Top funding

The Race to the Top District competition requires applicants to design personalized learning environments using digital tools—but critics say education funding shouldn’t be turned into a competition.

Nearly 900 school districts across the nation intend to apply for a slice of close to $400 million in grants that the U.S. Education Department will distribute in support of local initiatives that help close achievement gaps and prepare students for college and a career.

The department announced Aug. 31 that 893 applicants are slated to participate in the Race to the Top-District competition.…Read More

What ‘sequestration’ could mean for school grant seeking in 2013

The number of applications for competitive grant programs to all funders will increase significantly.

You might already know that the Budget Control Act of 2011 created a Joint Commission of Congress that is charged with identifying budgetary savings of at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. If a joint committee bill is not enacted by Jan. 15, 2013, an automatic spending reduction process will go in to place. Sequestration, or the cancellation of budgetary resources, will take effect on Jan. 2, 2013. Based on what I have read, I believe sequestration will have a dramatic impact on the grants field.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) already has stated that it expects fewer medical research grants, with approximately 700 fewer grant opportunities to be available in 2013. The National Science Foundation has stated up to 1,500 grant opportunities could be cut as a result of sequestration.…Read More

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