Crothersville receives $100,000 in GEER funding


Crothersville Community School Corp. recently learned it will receive $100,000 for professional development for teachers and developing more eLearning opportunities for students.

According to a news release from the University of Indianapolis, Crothersville is one of 30 school districts in Indiana receiving a grant obtained by the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.

Crothersville Superintendent Terry Goodin said the corporation partnered with Wilson Education Center in applying for the grant.

Goodin said it has been difficult to get professional development opportunities for teachers because most of them are in person but have had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding, however, will allow teachers to log in on their own time or during a prep period to receive the professional development.

“It no doubt will have a positive impact,” Goodin said. “Any time you can do any kind of training or professional development, it helps not only the teacher, but it helps the students. The students are the ones who will ultimately gain from it.”

The $4.8 million grant will fund devices and broadband connectivity across nine Education Service Centers and 23 school districts in rural areas across Indiana and support professional development to improve educators’ capacity to provide engaging and effective online instruction in 30 districts across the state.

The Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning at the University of Indianapolis will partner with the Central Indiana Education Service Center during the next two years to disburse the funds and arrange for training, according to the news release.

In addition to providing broadband for rural areas that frequently lack high-speed internet access, $3.3 million in funds will be used to connect families to the internet and buy equipment, such as laptops, for students and teachers.

The additional $1.5 million is supporting professional development for teachers in the 30 local districts.

The grant is one of the larger amounts distributed by the state from the $61.6 million in GEER funding it received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to the news release.

CELL organized the group of districts to allow them to benefit from the cooperative purchasing of devices and professional development for their staff as a networked group.

The funds allow the governor’s office to provide support to local educational agencies and institutions of higher education with an application focused on developing and improving the availability of remote learning techniques and technologies.

“These grants will allow us to meet the unique needs of rural school districts and ensure that students and teachers have access to the technology they require to succeed,” said Janet Boyle, executive director of the Rural Early College Network.

“We are grateful to the governor’s office for this valuable opportunity to address the immediate concerns of the pandemic and to prepare educators in these school districts for the technological demands of the future,” she said.

The Indiana Department of Education, Commission for Higher Education, Indiana State Board of Education and governor’s office established the needs-based competitive grant program to support the unique challenges associated with remote learning, including device access, internet connectivity and educator training/development.

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