Press Release, Indiana Department of Education:

Nearly 12,000 Educators Have Already Registered For Training Through Keys to Literacy

INDIANAPOLIS –The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) announced at today’s State Board of Education (SBOE) meeting that due to an incredible number of teachers who have already signed up for training through Keys to Literacy, additional cohorts are now available for teachers to participate in this free professional development over the next year and beyond. Since launching in April, nearly 12,000 educators have already registered for the science of reading-focused course developed specifically for Indiana.

Over the past 10 years, Indiana has faced a continued decline in student reading levels. Today, in Indiana, one in five third grade students cannot read. Central to helping more students learn to read is providing Indiana’s current and future educators with high-quality, evidence-based training aligned to science of reading. To support this, Indiana has secured the state’s largest-ever financial investment in literacy ($170 million), and today, thousands of educators are already tackling this challenge head on.

“We know the value and impact that teachers have in ensuring our students are able to read,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “In just less than a month, nearly 12,000 educators have already registered for training through Keys to Literacy. This includes educators seeking to fulfill the requirements of the early literacy endorsement, as well as many others seeking to learn all that they can in order to best serve Indiana students. Thank you to all of our educators who continue to seek additional training in science of reading. Together, we can, and we must, help more Indiana students learn to read.”

A new state law that passed in 2024 provides at least three years (beginning July 1, 2027) for current elementary and special education licensed teachers to earn Indiana’s new early literacy endorsement. Some teachers will have longer than three years to earn the early literacy endorsement if their next license renewal date falls after July 2027. For example, if an elementary or special education teacher’s current license does not expire until 2029, the teacher would have five years to complete the requirements. A total of 90 Professional Growth Plan points (hours) are required each time an educator renews their license; the addition of the early literacy endorsement will fully meet this requirement for the educator’s next five- or 10-year license renewal.

Due to the incredible early interest for the Keys to Literacy training, additional sessions were added for spring/summer 2024, increasing the total number of cohorts from 12 to 64, each with approximately 200 educators. Additional cohorts are also open for both fall 2024 and spring 2025 in response to the early demand. Teachers can receive up to a $1,200 stipend upon completion. The 80-hour professional development course offered in partnership with Keys to Literacy is just one way that educators can complete the professional development necessary to earn Indiana’s new early literacy endorsement. IDOE continues to work with educators to identify other quality science of reading training that may fulfill the 80-hours required in state law. To learn more about the early literacy endorsement and to register for Keys to Literacy, click here.

Below are additional examples of how Indiana’s $170 million investment continues to support improving literacy throughout the state –

  • 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 nearly 180,000 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 nearly 60,000 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 25-hour online professional development modules in partnership with Marian University to support Indiana educators with additional science of reading training. Over 6,000 educators are currently enrolled, and 1,700 have already completed. Eligible teachers will 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 awardednearly $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.