The Every Student Succeeds Act allows states to access targeted funds to support local education agencies in carrying out initiatives aimed at improving student achievement in reading and writing from birth through grade twelve. This is an important shift that recognizes the continuing needs of students in attaining literacy skills after third grade—skills that are necessary to ensure that students graduate from high school college and career ready.
- To support LEAs’ delivery of comprehensive and high-quality literacy instruction, States can obtain federal support, through a competitive grant process, to develop and implement state-led comprehensive literacy plans.
- To ensure the comprehensive nature of this program, funding must be allocated equitably for state and local programs and activities with not less than 15% for children from birth through kindergarten entry, 40% for kindergarten through grade 5 students, and 40% for grades 6 through 12 students.
- Requires comprehensive literacy plans be developed/revised in conjunction with state literacy teams. Birth through kindergarten entry plans must be developed in conjunction with appropriate state agencies responsible for administering early childhood education and childhood care programs.
- Allowable uses of funding include: development of comprehensive literacy plans; professional development for educators, paraprofessionals, SISPs, specialists, school librarians, and school leaders; coordination with early childhood educators; collaborative literacy instruction planning time for educators; assessment of program quality; and engagement of stakeholders in supporting literacy experiences and practices.
- Innovative approaches to literacy are supported through awards of grants or contracts or through competitive grants and include developing/enhancing school library programs; providing early literacy services; and providing books to students in low-income communities.