Perry Township, two other districts to benefit from $47M support grant

Three Indiana school districts, including Perry Township Schools, are set to benefit from a five-year, $47 million grant to help support teachers and improve student academic success.

The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, or NIET, announced Tuesday that it was awarded the grant from the federal Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program. It will use the funds to help the Teacher Advancement Program, or TAP, in Perry Township, Goshen Community Schools and Brown County Schools.

Across the three school districts, the grant will affect 32 schools that serve more than 25,000 students.

NIET said TAP aims to help “build educators’ effectiveness and enables schools to develop teachers as instructional leaders, plan weekly professional learning tailored to individual needs of teachers and students, create a shared vision for improving teacher practice and student achievement, and implement strategic compensation systems.”

The system was introduced by NIET in 1999 and has helped boost student achievement, improve teacher retention and strengthen teacher abilities, the institute said.

Additionally, the grant is expected to support efforts to ensure students have equitable access to excellent teachers and work to increase the percentage of teachers of color.

“Effective teachers are crucial to student performance and academic success,” Perry Township Schools Superintendent Patrick W. Mapes said in written comments. “We are thankful for this grant which will give us the opportunity to recruit, retain, and reward highly effective teachers who are responsible for driving positive student outcomes.”

The institute has collaborated with Perry Township Schools since 2010. Currently, Perry Township implements the TAP blueprint across the district to support more than 16,700 students.

The grant from the Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program will help Perry Township give stipends to teachers who effectively facilitate the TAP framework.

Perry Township is the state’s second fastest-growing school district, due in part to an increasing number of refugees—primarily from Burma. The district has the highest percentage of English language learners for a district of its size.

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