I. The Early Literacy Grant was renewed with twelve million dollars in funding for the fiscal year 2021. Per the legislation, schools are eligible to receive funding by meeting the following criteria: Serve kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and/or third-grade students; and have 90% or more of their students eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch.
II. In its original form from 2018, the ELG was a three-year grant cycle. However, at this point, the grant is year to year and is dependent on being funded by the Governor and Legislature. ADE will determine eligibility each year of the grant moving forward. Eligible schools were determined based upon the claim data from October 2019 as reported to the ADE Health and Nutrition Division by each LEA. This list was cross-referenced with the AzEDS Student Level and Free and Reduced Lunch data from the 2019-2020 school year to ensure all schools were captured.
III. For those schools that are new to the ELG, here are key points about its funding and usage:
Funding and Usage
1. ELG funding amounts to, on average, $150.00 per K-3 student per school
a. ELG funding is allotted at the school level and may not be used for non-eligible schools in the same district/charter system
2. ELG funding is to be used to support all day kindergarten and/or to support K-3 reading.
a. Similar to Move On When Reading (MOWR) funding, ELG funding can be used in any of the following large buckets:
1.K-3 Reading: Staffing
2.K-3 Reading: Instructional Materials
3.This includes curricula, materials such as a reading table, and/or technology used to support reading.
4.K-3 Reading: Assessment Materials
5.K-3 Reading: Professional Development
3. Because final funding amounts are determined by ADM, ELG funding has typically been provided to schools in Oct/Nov of the school year.
4. The ELG does allow carryover of funds for one year.
IV. Please note that the funding amounts listed in the eligibility document below are ESTIMATES to provide you with a ballpark of FY21 funding. The final amounts will be determined and provided in October.
The FY20 Early Literacy payment calculation has been completed. The total was distributed in one payment in October. Please see the file below. All schools are listed alphabetically. The total amount is listed for each school.
During the 2018 Legislative Session, HB 2520 changed the Early Literacy Grant from a three-year program to an annual entitlement program. The Early Literacy Grant Program originated during the 2017-2018 academic year with an $8 million appropriation from the legislature. This program was designed to be administered to schools with at least a 90% free and reduced lunch population and funds were to be used for K-3 literacy programs and full-day Kindergarten. Eligible schools were determined based upon the claim data from October 2016 as reported to the ADE Health and Nutrition Division by each LEA. This list was cross-referenced with the AzEDS Student Level and Free and Reduced Lunch data from the 2016-2017 school year to ensure all schools were captured.
When the Early Literacy Grant was initially written, it allowed for participating schools to receive available funding throughout the three-year grant cycle provided all requirements were met. At this time there were 242 eligible schools, of which 175 schools elected to participate. Year two of the grant begins with the 2018-2019 academic year and a $12 million appropriation from the legislature for all 242 eligible schools. In order to comply with the new legislation and maintain the integrity of the grant program for the participating schools, the eligibility list of schools from the 2017-2018 academic year will be used until the 2019-2020 academic year. After the 2019-2020 academic year, eligibility will be determined on an annual basis provided the continuation of funding. Because the Early Literacy Grant is an entitlement program, there is no application required for participation. However, each school that receives Early Literacy Grant funds is required to submit an Annual Report by June 1st of each calendar year. The report must include information related to the following:
Summary of the school’s funded activities
The school’s progress toward achievement goals
Specific findings on grant-funded strategies and activities
The level of effectiveness in improving reading proficiency
While both the Early Literacy Grant and Move On When Reading address K-3 literacy, they are separate endeavors. All schools with K-3 students are required to submit Move On When Reading literacy plans according to the legislated timeline, even if they are also receiving the Early Literacy Grant.