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TDOE Announces 79 Districts Intend to Participate in TN ALL Corps Tutoring, Serve Nearly 150,000 Students Over Three Years

Thursday, September 30, 2021 | 03:01pm

 

$200M Statewide Investment to Accelerate Student Achievement, Mitigate Learning Loss

 

Nashville, TN—Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced 79 school districts, over half of all districts in the state, intend to participate in the Tennessee Accelerating Literacy and Learning Corps (TN ALL Corps) tutoring program to mitigate learning loss and accelerate student achievement. The participating districts and the department will invest a projected $200 million in federal education funding in TN ALL Corps tutoring supports which stands to benefit nearly 150,000 Tennessee students over the next three years. 

TN ALL Corps is a matching grant opportunity to empower districts to implement or strengthen tutoring supports for students in low ratios and at a high dosage, with TN ALL Corps tutoring occurring for small groups of students in 30–45-minute sessions, two to three times per week. This approach in combination with summer programming will provide students with 250-500 additional hours of academic instruction over the next three years and two summers.   

"Through TN ALL Corps, Tennessee can dramatically increase the amount of learning time children have access to, which will accelerate student achievement," said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. "We know high dosage, low-ratio tutoring works, and we are thrilled to see over half of our districts sign up to participate in this program that will help ensure Tennessee students are on track and on a path to success."

Throughout the pandemic, Tennessee has led the nation in providing academic supports for students. In January 2021, Governor Lee convened the Tennessee General Assembly for a special legislative session to pass policies to help mitigate COVID-19 disruptions and support Tennessee students. 

Structured tutoring programs have been proven to significantly increase student achievement. As part of the Tennessee Learning Loss and Student Acceleration Act passed in the special session, the TN ALL Corps will support students across the state by providing access to tutoring in both English Language Arts (ELA) and math.

As the state has implemented strategies and policies to support students during the pandemic, more than $4 billion in federal COVID-19 education funding has also flowed to Tennessee school districts to help students and schools recover and accelerate. The federal government is requiring districts to spend a portion of their funding, a minimum of 20% of their Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) 3.0 funding, to address learning loss. Districts may satisfy the federally required learning loss investment through participation in TN ALL Corps.

With such an historic amount of federal funding available to local districts, the department created the Best for All recognition program to reward district investments in programs or initiatives that are most likely to benefit students. To qualify for the Best for All recognition program, a district or charter school must spend 50% of its ESSER 3.0 award amount on academics and participate in the TN ALL Corps program.

To support districts and increase the investment in tutoring supports, the department developed a financial match model for the TN ALL Corps grant opportunity. For every student tutored, the department will provide $700 per student per year, while a district contributes $800 per year per student. This amount covers at least 15% of district students in 1st – 8th grades in year one. 

Districts were able to select the structure of tutoring, the staffing, and the students served, with the goal of providing high dosage low ratio tutoring. For additional flexibility, districts can choose when to launch TN ALL Corps programming, as an early adopter in August and September 2021 or as part of the year one cohort in January 2022. Districts also have the option of launching in the year two cohort during the Summer of 2022. A list of districts intending to participate is available here.

District and school leaders and elected officials shared why this program will make such a huge impact on learning loss recovery for students.

“I am very pleased so many school districts across the state want to take advantage of this new, high-quality tutoring program established earlier this year through legislation passed by the General Assembly,” said Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson. “Thank you to Education Chairman Brian Kelsey for successfully leading the legislation that made this program possible through the Senate. The program will help students establish strong foundational skills that will have a positive impact on student learning for years to come.”

“As we work to reverse last year’s learning loss caused by the pandemic, all options must remain on the table for consideration.  One-on-one tutoring will provide individualized assistance to get our students not only back on track academically but on a successful path for their future,” said Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton. “We all want and continue to work towards the same outcome in education- every student that graduates from a Tennessee school does so with the skills and opportunities for success in life.”

"This is a wise investment that will address the significant learning disruptions of the past year by helping students to both recover these losses and to reach new heights throughout their educational journey,” said House Majority Leader William Lamberth. “We look forward to seeing the results of this investment in our students as we work toward our goal of leading the nation in education.”

"As we continue to work as a district to improve student learning, it is critical that we explore and analyze new data driven educational opportunities as they become available," said Dr. Trey Duke, Director of Schools, Murfreesboro City Schools. "As educators, we know that additional time spent with high quality and impactful teachers will consistently help students succeed in their education goals and close gaps."

"The learning opportunities we provide today help our children become prosperous and productive adults for tomorrow,” said House Education Administration Chairman Mark White. “This program, along with other measures we have taken, will help us close the gap for those vulnerable students who have fallen behind due to school closures. I’m grateful for the partnership of our teachers and tutors across the state who are helping to create a world -class public education system for our students.”

“Through this program many students will have the ability to recover critical learning skills lost during the 2020/2021 school year,” said Senate Education Chairman Brian Kelsey. “While we still have much work to do, this is a huge step in the right direction towards setting students on a path to a successful learning career with positive education outcomes.”

“Elizabethton City Schools is excited to participate in TN ALL Corps,” said Dr. Myra Newman, Assistant Director of Schools for Academics, Elizabethton City Schools. “We see this as a great opportunity to help our students to become academically proficient through high dosage/low ratio tutoring. Our goal is to provide grade level, standards-based tutoring in small groups throughout the school day to accelerate our students’ learning in grades first through eighth.” 

“Every student deserves a top-notch, high-quality education, and the General Assembly remains committed to ensuring they receive one,” said House Education Instruction Chairlady Debra Moody. “We know that mitigating the effects of learning loss is not going to be a one-time fix. This three-year, high-dosage program will enhance the tools and supports we already have in place to measure, remediate and close the learning gaps caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Ensuring students all across Tennessee are receiving the one-on-one help they need is one of the most important things we can do as a legislature,” said House Education Instruction Subcommittee Scott Cepicky. “This is a huge win for students and teachers across our state as we move Tennessee to number one in education in our country.”

“Hamilton County Schools is thrilled to participate in TN ALL Corps because we know it will help provide much needed supports for our students,” said Breckan Duckworth, Literacy Officer for Hamilton County Schools. "Our schools, students and educators have worked and continue to work extremely hard to close achievement gaps due to the pandemic. Participating in TN ALL Corps will ensure our students have access to qualified tutors and resources."

“Making sure Tennessee students are not falling behind in the classroom is vital to their success,” said House Education Administration K-12 Subcommittee Chairman Kirk Haston. “I am excited for what this program will do for our kids and our teachers. This is a great win the students across our state.”

“Some of the best teaching moments come from one-on-one tutoring sessions,” said House Education Administration Vice-Chairman Chris Hurt. “This program will allow students to receive the extra help needed and put them one step closer to success, and I am excited for where this will take us.”

District applications are now open in ePlan. To learn more about TN ALL Corps, visit the department’s ESSER district planning resources webpage

For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact Edu.MediaInquiries@tn.gov. 

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