Indiana Department of Education expands statewide tutoring program as students struggle on tests
Low test scores indicate students across Indiana are struggling with math and reading. In response, the Indiana Department of Education recently announced the expansion of a statewide tutoring program for students in third to eighth grades.
The tutoring program, Indiana Learns, was created to help kids catch up after the pandemic and boost low ILEARN scores. It gives eligible students $1,000 for math and language arts tutoring from approved partners like schools and other education organizations.
The program is managed by Indianapolis education nonprofit The Mind Trust. It was originally only open to fourth and fifth graders but was expanded this year after studies commissioned by the IDOE showed middle schoolers could benefit from tutoring.
“This newly released data was the determining factor in the expansion of Indiana Learns, which will now include middle school students, in addition to the elementary school students already eligible," said Indiana Secretary of Education Katie Jenner in a press release. "This will allow parents and families, who may not otherwise be able to pay for high-dosage tutoring, to access these opportunities for their students and provide them the additional support they need.”
Eligible families who apply this year will initially receive $1,000 for tutoring. Families initially received $500 from the program last year. In 2022, the state required that schools pay $250 for eligible students to receive additional funding. The state would then match that amount to give the student a total of $1,000.
Families can re-apply for another round of funding this year once they use the initial $1,000.
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There are also changes for schools this year. Individual schools within a corporation can apply to become partners with Indiana Learns. Schools will also be able to tutor eligible students during the school day at lunch and during classes other than reading and math.
“We are especially thankful for school partnerships, which have been instrumental in the growth and success of Indiana Learns,” said Seana Murphy, senior director of Indiana Learns, in a press release.
More than 10,000 students have participated in Indiana Learns since the program started last year, according to the Indiana Learns website. They’ve collectively received more than 26,000 hours of tutoring.
Students must be enrolled in an accredited Indiana school, qualify for free or reduced lunch, and have a below proficiency ILEARN score to qualify for the program. Parents can check their student’s eligibility online at the Indiana Learns website.