The goal is to have 95% of Indiana students pass IREAD-3 by 2027.

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana, along with the Lilly Endowment, is investing $111 million in the early education of Hoosier students.

  • Support the placement of guidance coaches in schools across Indiana
  • Offer scholarships to teachers participating in professional development focused on the science of reading
  • Provide targeted support to students who need the most help in improving their reading skills
  • Create a literacy center focused on reading science strategies.

The Lilly Endowment will provide up to $60 million to help with this effort.

The goal is to have 95% of Indiana students pass IREAD-3 by 2027.

“The Lilly Endowment’s incredible investment today represents a long-term commitment to Indiana’s long-term success,” said Governor Eric Holcomb. “Reading is essential to every student’s lifelong opportunities and is fundamental to the core of our state’s future. This tremendous investment will have a lasting impact on our newest generation of Hoosiers, empowering them with foundational skills they will carry with them throughout their lives.”

The state’s third-grade reading assessment results found that one in five students have not mastered basic reading skills.

Only 40% of Indiana third graders passed the English/language arts portion of ILEARN in 2022. The 2019 NAEP found that only 17% of students of color, 24% of Hispanic students, and 24% of students from low-income families low scored skills or better.

Here’s more about what the funds will help:

  • Provide support to educators through instructional coaching in the Science of Reading – Through funding from IDOE, 54 schools across the state are piloting Science of Reading instructional coaching this fall, with recruitment, supervision and training provided by CELL. With additional financial support from the Lilly Endowment, IDOE expects to expand the reach of this effort to approximately 60 percent of elementary schools by the end of the 2025-2026 school year. Schools can choose instructional training based on the needs of the students and the interest of the school.
  • Provide targeted support to Indiana students experiencing the greatest reading challenges – Many students experience reading challenges, including students in special education, students of color, students whose primary language is not English, and students from low-income families.
  • Establishing a literacy center at IDOE focused on the Science of Reading – IDOE will recruit additional staff to provide Science of Reading technical assistance to schools, including resources through the Indiana Learning Lab. The Literacy Center will serve as a one-stop shop to oversee literacy efforts, manage research and evaluation efforts, and maintain quality technical assistance for educators.
  • Providing stipends for teachers who participate in professional development related to the science of reading – As Indiana’s early elementary school educators work to implement the Science of Reading in classrooms across the state, IDOE will provide financial incentives of up to $1,200 per teacher to allow them to choose additional training.

“We know that students first learn to read, and then they read to learn,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “This change usually occurs after the student’s third grade year. However, in Indiana, many of our students are finishing third grade without basic reading skills.”

To view the state press conference on the reading initiative, click here.

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