Education

Parents can get up to $1,000 in tutoring grants from new Indiana program

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The state recently rolled out its new statewide tutoring grant program over the weekend for parents and families

It’s open to all fourth-graders and fifth-graders who qualify for federally subsidized meals and scored below proficiency on both the reading and math portions of the ILearn state test.

Officials overseeing the program want parents to be aware that the resource is out there for them to use.

“With a soft launch we had over 167 parents that were waiting to get notification, but because it was a soft launch we’re expecting that that number will grow,” said Seana Murphy, the senior director for Indiana Learns, “Leveraging high quality, high dose tutoring is expensive.”

Indiana Learns is behind the new program. It serves as the hub for parents and families to apply for eligibility.

They can check to see if their student qualifies, see the amount of money they’re able to receive, and schedule services with approved tutoring providers.

Indiana Learns will provide families with $500.

School districts can provide another $250 for their students and the state will match for a total tutoring grant of $1,000.

Even if districts don’t provide, families can still receive $500 from Indiana Learns.

At the beginning of the year, House Enrolled Act 1251 outlined requirements for the Indiana Department of Education to establish and administer a microgrants program to support students in recovering from learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In summer 2022, the Department of Education contracted with The Mind Trust to manage the implementation of Indiana Learns. The Mind Trust was selected for its long history in successfully collaborating with funders, schools, and community partners to meet the elevated community needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and unjust systems. In particular, The Mind Trust’s work in managing the Indiana Learning Lab and Indy Summer Learning Labs effectively positioned it to deliver exceptional results for students and families through Indiana Learns.

“Which is really an opportunity for our parents and families who may not have otherwise been able to afford tutoring for their children to now be able to support their child,” said Indiana Secretary of Education Katie Jenner. “When we have schools and educators working hand and hand with parents and families we can do so much to enhance that child’s learning.”

Murphy said Indiana Learns want students to catch up who may have been negatively affected academically by the pandemic. Their goal is to provide the financial resource and system for parents to easily leverage support for their students and work alongside their schools.