The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) was awarded $49,839,514 through a five-year federal grant aimed at supporting language and literacy development growth in Hawaii public schools.
“This Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant is about advancing school design innovation through literacy in three key areas: exposing students to dual language opportunities their early years, family education and engagement and advancing third grade literacy skills,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “Our goal is to provide an equitable education to all students today, preparing them for tomorrow. Students with strong literacy skills early in their education, including multi-literacy and dual language skills, have greater opportunities for more advanced studies and competitive career paths.”
The 2018-19 Strive HI Performance System results, presented Oct. 3 to the Hawaii Board of Education, showed more students gaining essential literacy skills by the third grade. Seventy-five percent of third-graders are reading above or at/near grade level, a 10-point gain over just two years. HIDOE aims to further advance this indicator through the federal grant, to accelerate goals around implementing a system of evidence-based literacy programs for children, with a focus on disadvantaged students.
“Third grade reading proficiency is paramount to student success because literacy is the foundation for student growth and development,” said Board of Education Chairwoman Catherine Payne. “ This significant grant validates the Department’s commitment to providing a solid core curriculum for all students.”
Superintendent Kishimoto will be naming a steering committee to monitor successful grant implementation for the five-year period that will include parent representatives.
Subgrants will be distributed to complex areas through a competitive grant process to develop comprehensive and community-specific literacy plans aligned to the state’s Comprehensive Literacy Instruction Plan.
- 80% to HIDOE complex areas (up to $1.5 million per complex area, of which 50% must be used for K-5 initiatives and 50% for 6-12 initiatives). Complexes will receive differentiated funds based on supporting the highest-need students to mitigate the achievement gap through exciting and innovative learning opportunities;
- 15% of awarded funds to Early Childhood Programs through Hawai‘i P-20 (up to $300,000 per program prioritized to high need areas).
Requests for Proposals will be solicited during spring 2020 for school year 2020-21 implementation. HIDOE has received $10,036,754 for fiscal year 2019-20, which is the full amount requested for the first year of the five-year period.