Indiana Provides Educators A Free Opportunity to Earn a Literacy Endorsement

INDIANAPOLIS –The Indiana Department of Education today announced that eligible educators can now enroll in a free professional development course designed to help them earn Indiana’s Literacy Endorsement. Eligible educators will receive up to $1,200 in stipends for completion of the course.

“For the first time ever, Indiana educators can add a literacy endorsement to their existing license, and the state has provided a way for educators to earn this distinction free of charge while also earning a stipend for their time spent completing the course,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “The literacy endorsement, created by state law in 2023, provides educators with tools focused on evidence-based instruction rooted in science of reading, ensuring more students across the state gain essential literacy skills necessary for future success.”

This course, tailored specifically for Indiana educators, is certified by the International Dyslexia Association and is aligned to Indiana Academic Standards and science of reading. By participating, educators will continue to improve upon existing knowledge allowing for enhanced instructional practices in the fundamental elements of early reading and writing. 

Indiana educators who hold an active Pre-K through grade six or special education license are invited to enroll in the newly-developed course, offered by Keys to Literacy. The free course will be available through June 2025. The program’s instructional practices are designed to seamlessly integrate into classroom lessons with any curriculum or published literacy program. 

Funding is allocated in the state’s biennial budget to allow educators to enroll in the 80-hour course, participate in the Praxis licensing exam, and, ultimately, earn the Indiana Literacy Endorsement. Following completion of the exam, beginning in August 2024, educators can apply to add the literacy endorsement to their license. Additional information will be available this spring for educators who have completed the necessary 80-hour professional development on science of reading through a different provider.

To support schools and educators, as well as parents and families in preparing students with foundational reading skills, Indiana continues to make historic investments in literacy, totaling over $170 million. Below are examples of how this investment continues to positively impact students –

  • Launched a new data visualization tool with key literacy data to empower educators, parents and families, community leaders and policymakers with the information needed to continue improving state and local literacy rates.
  • Increased school-level science of reading instructional coaching and support for educators through the Indiana Literacy Cadre. Participation in 2023 grew nearly five-fold, with 199 total schools opting into cohorts one and two.
  • Provided over 105,000 hours of learning support and tutoring services to over 20,000 students through Indiana Learns, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.
  • Grew the Indiana Learning Lab from 6,000 users in 2021 to over 62,000 users just two years later, including launching the Parent and Family Support Hub, which provides no cost, 24/7 access to resources for parents and families to support their student’s learning.
  • Developed online professional development modules supporting Indiana educators with additional science of reading training. Nearly 6,000 educators have signed up to participate, with 1,200 already completed. Eligible teachers receive a $1,200 stipend upon completion.
  • Expanded the number of schools opting-in to administer the state’s IREAD assessment for second grade students to 1,099 schools. This allows teachers, parents and families to immediately know if a child is on-track or at-risk when it comes to mastering foundational literacy skills.
  • Awarded the Expanding What Works grant to four regional partners serving over 3,000 students to increase access to high-quality summer programming providing supplemental literacy and math instruction using evidence-based strategies.
  • Provided $10 million in cash stipends to teachers, instructional coaches and other school staff at all corporations and charter schools who are responsible for the implementation and delivery of early literacy and reading instruction through the Literacy Achievement Grants.
  • Increased the implementation of evidence-based instructional practices for over 65,000 students across Indiana through the Competitive Science of Reading grant, which awarded nearly $15 million to 72 school corporations. This is in addition to the multiple other initiatives supporting science of reading.

To learn more about additional literacy supports available to Indiana schools, click here.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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