The state has divvied up its $11.25 million earmarked to boost elementary reading skills.
And once again, the payments illustrate the scope of Idaho’s literacy challenge.
This fall, Idaho school districts and charter schools will receive money in hopes of helping nearly 37,000 kindergarten through third-grade students catch up in reading.
That 37,000 figure isn’t new; it came up frequently during the 2016 legislative session, before lawmakers voted to put an additional $9.1 million into literacy programs. And it’s based on a three-year average: the number of students who scored below grade level on the Idaho Reading Indicator, a statewide reading assessment.
The bottom line: Districts will receive $304.85 for every at-risk reader. Now it will be up to them to decide how to spend the money, and in essence, they can pilot any number of ideas. For example, some schools plan to use their money to pay for after-school or summer programs, while others are hoping to get results by ramping up teacher training, or purchasing classroom computers or learning devices.