The Kansas Department of Education has received a $27 million federal grant – one of the largest competitive grants ever received by the agency – to advance literacy programs at schools across the state.
The three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education will fund the Kansas Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Initiative, officials announced this week.
Kansas school districts will have a chance to apply for funds to support programs that advance literacy skills for students from birth through 12th grade, with a focus on English learners and students with disabilities.
Districts must serve at least 5,000 students to apply individually. Districts that serve fewer than 5,000 students may apply as part of a consortium.
“Students can’t be the best possible version of themselves without the ability to read and comprehend text, so I can’t stress enough the importance of this grant,” Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson said in a news release.
Applications for districts will be available later this month and are due by Dec. 29, said Suzy Myers, project director for the initiative. Eight districts or consortia will be chosen and funded at about $1 million a year for three years, she said.
The grant also will pay for a full-time education program consultant and administrative assistant at KDSE to administer the program, as well as an external evaluation team to monitor its progress and impact, officials said.