The Bulletin

State opens up applications for millions in grants to improve math and literacy teaching resources

By: - December 17, 2021 12:02 am

The Virginia Department of Education offices are inside the James Monroe Building in Richmond, Va. (Parker Michels-Boyce/ For the Virginia Mercury)

Virginia’s public colleges can apply for $34 million in grants to produce teaching resources and professional development programs for literacy and mathematics teachers. 

The Onward and Upward: Supporting Literacy and Mathematics grants are part of the $2.1 billion awarded to the Virginia Department of Education through The American Rescue Plan. Although only public institutions of higher education will be eligible to receive grants, partnerships with private institutions and local education agencies are encouraged.

Funds available include $11.7 million for literacy programs and $22.4 million for mathematics programs. The funding will support the creation of online resources for teachers such as instructional videos, tutoring programs and graduate level certificates. 

Additionally the grants also aim to increase teacher recruitment and retention by creating cohorts and collaborational hubs in mathematics across the state. Math and reading pass rates on state standardized tests plummeted as a result of the pandemic, when many school systems across Virginia went to virtual learning. 

“This grant opportunity represents a challenge and opportunity for our partners in higher education to develop resources and programs specifically for these extraordinary times and help our K-12 students and schools recover from the pandemic,”  Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said. 

Recipients of the grant will have to prove the efficiency of their programs in monthly meetings with VDOE staff and semiannual progress reports. Colleges will have until Sept. 30, 2024 to execute the programs created through the grant.

Public two- and four-year programs can submit their proposals for the grant until 5 p.m. Jan. 28.

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Jackie Llanos Hernandez
Jackie Llanos Hernandez

Virginia Mercury intern Jackie Llanos Hernandez is a junior at the University of Richmond studying journalism and anthropology. Jackie grew up in Colombia before moving to Virginia. Jackie is also the investigative and multimedia editor at the independent student-run newspaper, The Collegian. She can be reached at [email protected]