Tennessee Officials to Use Federal Education, COVID Funds for Statewide Literacy Initiative

Tennessee Officials to Use Federal Education, COVID Funds for Statewide Literacy Initiative

January 4, 2021

Tennessee will use flexibility granted by ESSA to use federal education funds, as well as a portion of the state’s COVID-19 recovery funds, to bolster resources and support aimed at improving literacy outcomes for Tennessee students. Noting that just above a third of third-graders in the state were reading at grade level prior to the pandemic and that school closures this past year likely exacerbated the trend, education commissioner Penny Schwinn said, “I think that we have the opportunity to leverage one-time federal funding and federal grant funding to invest in our kids and, certainly, in our state.” The initiative, titled Reading360, will provide a wide array of supports and services to teachers, students, and families, as well as over 13,000 microgrants for student literacy tutoring.