Tennessee’s plans for US bailout funds approved | Education

The Tennessee Department of Education’s plan for the US bailout dollars was approved last week by the US Department of Education.

The approval finalizes the state’s strategy to spend its roughly $ 2.5 billion share of federal funds on education, with a focus on improving early literacy, meeting needs rural communities, improving student outcomes and reducing the existing gaps between outcomes and available opportunities.

Between previous funding bills and funding for the US bailout, the state will have about $ 4.2 billion to work on over the next four years, the Tennessee Department of Education said.

“The Department is proud to receive approval from the U.S. Department of Education for the Tennessee ARP ESSER State Plan, as we deeply believe that by maximizing the more than $ 4 billion in federal funding for the ‘Kindergarten to Grade 12 education in Tennessee, our state has a historic opportunity to make strong, student-centered investments to accelerate learning and generate positive outcomes for children, “said the Commissioner of Canada. education Penny Schwinn in a statement announcing the approval.

According to a US Department of Education document listing the “strengths” of the Tennessee plan, one of the new investments will be in a statewide tutoring model called the Tennessee Accelerating Literacy and Learning Corps. The Corps will be based on the concept of high dose tutoring and will provide training, certification, specific grade level content and other resources to districts interested in bringing the model to their schools.

Districts can apply for matching grants from the state to fund tutoring in their schools. Community partners will be able to do the same, the state said.

The model is intended to be a way for the state to combat the academic impact of lost teaching time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the learning losses that may have occurred when some students had hard to learn virtually. TDOE will also continue to invest in the Reading360 program it launched this year.

The document also noted that the TDOE will continue its work by creating educational resources such as the “Decodables” books which were made free for families in Tennessee this year.

“To support new summer programs and tutoring supports for students, TDOE will provide resources for teaching in summer learning camps as well as district and community partner grants to support role models. high-dose tutoring, “the document says.

While much of the plan addresses broader goals over the next several years, the state has provided nearly $ 500 million in investments currently committed to academic, student preparation, and money categories. for educators:


$ 120.7 million for the Tennessee Literacy Success Act and Reading 360

$ 170.5 million for the Tennessee Learning Loss and Student Acceleration Act, including the TN ALL Corps tutoring initiative as well as summer learning programs and camps

$ 35 million to support the 2022-2023 statewide math textbook adoption process

$ 32 million for online teaching and learning resources and improvements for school districts

Preparation of students

$ 32.6 million for the Innovative High Schools and AP Access for All initiatives

$ 17.8 million for mental health supports

$ 56.5 million for open source prep courses and statewide professional development for K-12 teachers

For educators

$ 21 million in programs to support the educator pool, including the ministry’s “Grow Your Own” program

Investments in literacy are aimed at bringing the state to adopt a unified approach to teaching students to read, based on phonetics, or first reading by sounds, which has been emphasized in the “Decodable” books. of State.

Investments in the Innovative High Schools and AP Access for All programs are aimed at providing more opportunities for students through community partnerships and expanding opportunities to earn college credit in high school.

While the state has plans for its dollars, the details at the local level will still be determined by local school districts, which must present their own spending plans to the state by Aug. 27.

Once approved, the plans for each district will be posted publicly.

Schwinn said federal dollars, combined with internal state efforts, should provide a transformative opportunity for education in the state.

“Thanks to Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly, K-12 education in Tennessee has also benefited from state-level policies and financial supports during the pandemic that will help us all – school districts, teachers, communities and families – to work together to ensure the best possible education for all students, ”she said.

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