News Releases

Statement from State Sen. Jeff Raatz


Contact: Kellyn Harrison, Press Secretary

Statement from State Sen. Jeff Raatz

State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond) made the following statement today regarding the announcement of The Lilly Endowment's investment to support early literacy for Hoosier students:

STATEHOUSE (Aug. 18, 2022) — “This incredibly generous investment made by The Lilly Endowment, coupled with additional state funding, will set Indiana apart when it comes to preparing our greatest asset – Hoosier children – for tomorrow.

"The Lilly Endowment approved a grant of up to $60 million to support literacy development in schools, as well as $25 million to support future educators in implementing Science of Reading mechanics in elementary education by encouraging Indiana universities to incorporate these literacy methods into their undergraduate elementary teacher preparation programs. This funding coupled with the state's additional funding will total an investment of nearly $111 million to take large strides in improving early literacy development in Hoosier children.

"I believe this funding will not only better prepare our students for a successful life, but will benefit the teaching profession as well by offering stipends to those who choose to participate in professional development regarding the Science of Reading. There will also be literacy coaches who can assist in this endeavor across our state. As a result, our students will have an immense opportunity to be successful in the life they choose by being equipped with better access to literacy instruction, which makes this an exciting day for education in Indiana."


BACKGROUND: The Science of Reading is a research-based strategy that integrates instructional practices with efforts focused on phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

Click here for a high-resolution photo of Sen. Raatz.