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State Superintendent Mark Johnson Announces Additional Funds and Devices to Support K-3 Literacy through Personalized Learning Across the State

State Superintendent Mark Johnson has announced today that the Department of Public Instruction is making available additional funds and devices to schools at the start of this school year to support literacy efforts through personalized learning in all kindergarten through third grade classrooms across the state.

 

Every school district will be receiving an additional $400 per kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom that can be used to support K-3 literacy, including through personalized learning, with teaching materials, high quality curriculum, professional development, or technology.

 

“These millions of dollars are in addition to what schools already receive from the state,” said Superintendent Johnson. “By getting this money out of Raleigh and into the classrooms, we will be giving teachers more of the resources they need to help students succeed. The people of North Carolina elected me to bring change and that is what I will continue to do.”

 

In addition to the funds, the NC Department of Public Instruction will be providing additional iPads and other tablets for teachers to use for literacy activities, including personalized learning, in their classroom. Thousands of tablets will be distributed to classrooms across the state, which will mean every kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom should now contain at least four devices. NC DPI conducted extensive work over the summer with input from local leaders to identify the needs of each district, which vary based on the resources available to each community. Districts selected their preferred devices.

 

“Four tablets per class means North Carolina can now be the leader in personalized learning to support young readers,” Johnson said. “Personalized learning uses new technology as a tool for students and teachers to allow each student to learn at their own pace, to replace high-stakes assessments, and to provide a better picture to teachers of each student’s progress and challenges.”

 

In 2017, Superintendent Johnson and his team found millions of dollars from Read to Achieve that were going unused at DPI. Superintendent Johnson utilized those funds to send $200 for each K-3 reading teacher to buy supplies, start a new professional development program with NC State (Wolfpack WORKS) to mentor new teachers on best practices when teaching reading, provide master literacy training to every school district, and purchase an iPad for every K-3 classroom to be used to support literacy efforts.

 

The funding, part of the Read to Achieve state funding, will support the approximately 24,000 K-3 teachers and their nearly 500,000 students across the state. Read to Achieve funds are earmarked specifically for K-3 literacy efforts.

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