This fall, the US Department of Education awarded 13 states with 5-year Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) grants:  Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, and Rhode Island.

The focus of this program is advancing literacy skills for students from birth through grade 12 with special emphasis on disadvantaged children, including those living in poverty, English learners and children with disabilities.

How will funds be distributed?

Awarded States will hold grant competitions in Winter 2020 among school districts and early childhood providers. The funding must be allocated according to the following:

  • 15% minimum for children from birth through kindergarten entry
  • 40% minimum for kindergarten through grade 5
  • 40% minimum for grades 6 through 12.

What can be funded? 

Allowable project activities include funding literacy coaches, providing intensive, supplemental, accelerated, and explicit intervention and support in reading and writing for children whose literacy skills are below grade level and offering high-quality professional development.

What are the differences between State plans?

The Pearson Funding Team reviewed all 13 awarded state grant applications and found the following:

  • Little reflection of the federal grant’s competitive preference points for school choice for disadvantaged students.
  • States that have been awarded past Striving Reader grants like Georgia and Ohio describe grant plans that are very similar to their previous Striving Reader programs.
  • The 2019 federal CLSD application expanded the allowable evidence-based strategies for promoting literacy beyond just Strong and Moderate to now include Promising Evidence in the definition. Some state plans reflect this by allowing Strong, Moderate and Promising Evidence, while others restrict to only Strong/Moderate Evidence.  Some states are creating approved intervention or provider lists, while others reference third-party reviewers such as EdReports.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post to help districts in the 13 awarded states prepare for the upcoming grant competition!

Visit Our Grants and Funding Services Page To Enlist Our Help For Your School or District Today!  


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Grace Stopani

Grace Stopani

Director, Funding


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