For improving their reading instruction, thousands of Alabama public school teachers may be eligible for a $1,000 stipend.
Early childhood teachers and elementary teachers who completed the specialized training in teaching young children to read might get a one-time bonus, according to education authorities in the state. The program lasts two years for elementary teachers and one year for early childhood teachers.
Cynthia McCarty, a member of the Alabama Board of Education, expressed excitement about the stipend. Teachers who completed the LETRS program should be compensated, she has advocated for the previous several years.
“I wanted some tangible note of gratitude,” McCarty said. “Just to thank them and say we realize what you did. And we are so very thankful that you chose to do this. And your students will benefit so greatly from your sacrifice.”
To receive the honorarium, teachers must demonstrate that they have completed all LETRS curriculum and achieved mastery on the exam. Teachers have until May 27 to submit their applications for the honorarium.
LETRS training was completed by around 2,500 secondary school teachers and 900 preschool teachers by April of this year.
Training for teachers of reading and spelling provides instructors the science of how children learn to read and particular approaches for helping them acquire awareness of letters and sounds, as well as reading comprehension, as part of the program.
As part of the Alabama Literacy Act, which offers intense assistance to the state’s lowest-performing primary schools, the Alabama State Department of Education embraced LETRS training.
Teachers must take the course on their own time since it is optional.
The money for these stipends comes from federal COVID recovery funding, which State Superintendent Eric Mackey said he couldn’t promise will be available in the future in a message to superintendents.
For teachers, they will get $1,000, and the state will pay an additional $200 to their school districts to cover their benefits.