Programs for Nebraska teachers wanting to sharpen their skills and improve their subject knowledge were given a financial boost recently thanks to federal grants awarded for teaching-improvement courses and workshops.
Nebraska's Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education administers the Improving Teacher Quality grants, which fund projects designed to improve teachers' content knowledge and professional skills. The Coordinating Commission approved the funds at its Jan. 20 meeting.
A full list and descriptions of the selected programs can be found on the Commission website. Programs will benefit teachers from school districts across the state, including Omaha, Lincoln, North Platte, Ogallala, Wausa and Santee. Improving Teacher Quality grants are project-based grants designed 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's postsecondary institutions and high-need, low-income local education agencies (LEAs). The partners use the funds for specific projects pertaining to core academic subjects.
The federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (Title IIA) funds the grants. The total amount of funds available to Nebraska for awards in 2010-11 is $425,689. The total amount recommended for the five projects that received funding was $336,154. The remaining funds will be available for projects that may have more participant applications than slots funded or other unexpected costs. Any additional remaining funds will be carried forward for use in the 2011-12 competition.