Millions of dollars will make its way to teachers across Indiana through a federal grant award announced Tuesday, as part of efforts to help schools expand teacher professional development opportunities and supports.
Confetti cannons and applause exploded as National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) CEO Candice McQueen announced the grant award totaling $47 million.
It will support teachers and school leaders to grow a program called TAP. TAP focuses on teacher training and mentorship, and stresses the importance of additional pay for teachers with more responsibilities. State law says schools can apply for state funding to help implement the TAP program as well.
McQueen says the grant will allow the three grant-receiving districts to use the program with more teachers.
“Some of them have TAP in a specific number of schools but they wanted to take this district-wide,” she says.
The grant will be divided between three school corporations: Goshen Community, Perry Township, and Brown County schools. McQueen says most of the funding will go directly to the three districts and their teachers.
“Vast majority will go toward teacher compensation and professional learning. So we have about $22 million going to Perry Township, almost $10 million going to Goshen, and a little over $5 million going to Brown County,” she says.
The remaining amount will go to NIET professional learning supports and subcontractors which will help the districts implement their programs.
TAP focuses on improving instruction and guidance for teachers in order to boost student learning and achievement, and McQueen says some schools within the grant-receiving school districts have already shown improvement on test scores and the state’s accountability system.
She says the funding will help school leaders grow TAP district-wide over the next five years, and set the districts up to sustain the program into the future.