Reading Recovery is available on a nonprofit, no royalty basis to schools and districts that agree to operate according to established standards and guidelines. The costs include professional development for teacher leaders and teachers, materials and supplies, and evaluation.
In the United States, Reading Recovery is a three-tiered collaboration that includes universities, teacher training sites (often operated by school districts or a consortium of districts) and schools. About 20 universities in the U.S. oversee the professional development and implementation of Reading Recovery. School administrators who want to adopt Reading Recovery and provide professional development for their teachers will either establish their own teacher training site, or affiliate with a site nearby for teacher training.
Teacher training sites must have one or more Reading Recovery teacher leaders who have been trained for an academic year at a university training center in the United States or the Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery in Canada. Sites will train a teacher leader or secure access to a trained teacher leader who provides initial training and ongoing professional development for Reading Recovery teachers. Costs for training a teacher leader include tuition for graduate level course work during the training year and a university training fee that varies by university. The site must also equip a room with a one-way mirror and sound system to provide initial training and ongoing professional development for teachers.
Teacher training costs are established by the training site and include university tuition for graduate course work, books, materials, and affiliation fees. In many cases, fees are also calculated to offset all or part of the salary for the teacher leader who oversees the site. Ongoing professional development costs vary by training site. Sites implementing Reading Recovery pay annual technical support fees for ongoing professional development that vary by the university that serves the site. Contact a nearby teacher training site or university training center for specific costs.
Materials and supplies
Reading Recovery requires an extensive collection of short books (usually paperback) because children read a new book each day – one that has been carefully selected by the teacher to support expanded reading skills. Each teacher will need a set of starter books that will grow over the years. The initial purchase of non-consumable children’s books is about $2,500 per year. Other costs include professional books, materials, and supplies, a magnetic board, easel, magnetic letters, and erasable white board. A teacher leader or university trainer will supply a specific list of materials and costs.
Data and evaluation
The International Data Evaluation Center (IDEC), an ongoing research project in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University, is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data. Each Reading Recovery site will pay two separate fees to the IDEC. The first fee is an annual $350 site setup fee and covers the cost of annually updating a site’s rosters of teachers and schools, plus ongoing phone and email support from the IDEC Help Desk for teacher leaders. The second fee is a $45 per teacher data entry fee. This fee covers the cost of data entry on the IDEC website and the production of annual reports and a data dump at the end of the school year.
School administrators have considerable flexibility in how they staff Reading Recovery, and many schools are able to implement Reading Recovery by realigning existing staff. Reading Recovery teachers need to be able to teach four individual 30-minute lessons each day in addition to their other roles within the school. These teachers may be kindergarten or primary-grade teachers, Title I teachers, intervention specialists, teachers of ELL or special education, or literacy coaches and administrators. On average, the teachers working in Reading Recovery use their expertise to support 8 Reading Recovery students each year and an additional 40 students in other instructional roles. Since Reading Recovery training and instruction is intense, administrators must ensure that teachers have adequate time and compensation for their work with the lowest-achieving first-grade children. See examples in “Implementing RTI and Staffing Reading Recovery in Difficult Economic Times” (PDF) from The Journal of Reading Recovery.
For more information on costs and funding
Cost Effectiveness Analysis as a Decision Tool in Selecting and Implementing Instructional Interventions in Literacy
B. Hummel-Rossi & J. Ashdown (2010). Reading Recovery Council of North America online document.
The Long-Term Costs of Literacy Difficulties (PDF)
KPMG Foundation (2006).
Making a Wonderful Life (PDF)
R. Schwartz. (2011). The Journal of Reading Recovery 10(2), 49-54. Reading Recovery Council of North America.