The Coordinating Commission recently voted to fund four projects through a U.S. Department of Education grant program designed to improve K-12 teachers’ content knowledge and professional skills.
The Commission administers the Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) grants for Nebraska. These grants are intended to help increase student achievement by providing educators with professional development activities to improve their knowledge and teaching skills. The grants provide funds to partnerships established between Nebraska postsecondary institutions and high-need, low-income local education agencies (LEAs), most often school districts. The partners use the funds for specific projects pertaining to core academic subjects. A full list and descriptions of the selected programs, as well as the funding they’ll receive, can be found on the Commission website.
Programs will benefit teachers from school districts across the state. An evaluation panel with members from Nebraska high schools and the State Department of Education met in December at the Commission office in Lincoln. Fifteen proposals were submitted by partnerships that involved three different institutions (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha and Nebraska Wesleyan University), Nebraska Educational Technology Association, and a variety of school districts and educational service units (ESUs).
The Commission at its Jan. 23 meeting voted to approve the panel's recommended projects to fund. This was the largest number of proposals the Commission has received in more than a dozen years. Unfortunately, the funds available were reduced, primarily due to federal sequestration, forcing the panel to select only four projects out of a pool of many quality proposals. At this time, the total amount of funds available for awards in 2013-2014 is $294,145.