Funding decisions are critical to the longevity of Reading Recovery and for the success of children who need its support

The ongoing priority for Reading Recovery administrators is to support Reading Recovery with a stable and long-term funding stream. In some districts that may be local funding, in other districts it will be federal, and still others will use a mix of federal, state, and local funding.

Temporary funding sources are best used for one-time or short-term needs. Among those could be special grants for professional development, capitol investments to build or remodel a training facility, or an investment in materials such as children’s books. While these targeted grants are important and useful, a long-term funding plan is the best way to ensure that Reading Recovery will be available to children who will continue to need its highly trained teachers in the years to come.

A team approach in developing this long-term plan provides broad-based support for Reading Recovery. Involving stakeholders across the site is more likely to allow sustained funding during tough economic times or when conflicting priorities emerge.

Creative funding
Many schools think creatively when searching for resources to implement Reading Recovery. Remember that flexible staffing ultimately represents dollars. See examples in “Implementing RTI and Staffing Reading Recovery in Difficult Economic Times” (PDF) from The Journal of Reading Recovery.

State and local funding sources
Several states have appropriated early literacy funding in their state budgets, and a few states have created professional development funds to help pay for Reading Recovery professional development. Check with your state department of education to see what funds may be available. In addition, several school districts have applied for grants from foundations or corporate-giving programs.

Federal funding sources
Federal legislation is divided into major components called Titles. In each Title there are several Parts. Federal education programs are often referred to by the Title and Part that describes them. Formula grants are allocated to states or their subdivisions in accordance with distribution formulas prescribed by law or administrative regulation, for activities of a continuing nature not confined to a specific project. Formula entitlement grants are awarded to school districts and are not competitive in nature. This often makes them ideal for funding long-term projects in that they are not “up for competition” every few years. However, formula grants are not always assured. Legislative priorities can change and an entitlement can be discontinued.

Several types of federal funds and considerations for sites in using these funds are listed here.

Formula Grant to LEAs
This program provides financial assistance through state educational agencies (SEAs) to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or percentages of poor children to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards.
Formula grant to SEAs
Grants to states for Title I schools that do not make adequate yearly progress for at least 2 consecutive years. Authorized activities include the development and implementation of school improvement plans, professional development for teachers and staff, corrective actions such as instituting a new curriculum, development and implementation of restructuring plans, and the provision of public school choice and supplemental educational services options.
Formula Grant to LEAs
The purpose of Title II, Part A is to help increase the academic achievement of all students by helping schools and school districts ensure that all teachers are highly qualified to teach.
Formula Grant to LEAs
Consolidates the 13 current bilingual and immigrant education programs into a state formula program and maintains the current focus on assisting school districts in teaching English to limited-English-proficient students.
Early intervening services and response to intervention. Discretionary use of up to 15% of formula grant special education funds to LEAs.
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Fall 2023