Evidence-based Funding elevates the learning journey

Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 1/25/2019 2:00:00 PM

Evidence-Based Funding is filling a variety of needs in Peoria Public Schools. First and foremost, it continues to serve as the catalyst and inspiration to elevate the learning journey. This includes providing supports to schools that are interested in implementing a student-focused and career-focused vision, expanding technology, hiring social-emotional teacher aides and raising starting salaries of teachers.

 

Peoria Public Schools has a goal of being one-to-one, where a computer or tablet is provided for every student. Thanks to Evidence-Based Funding (EBF), the district is much closer to that goal. As we prepare our students for the 21st Century, a critical skill is the ability to use multimedia.

 

Providing more academic and social-emotional supports in the classroom for students is also important for our district. Peoria Public Schools invested EBF dollars into hiring 13 Social Emotional teacher aides at the elementary and middle schools. The SEL aides assist with de-escalating students so that they can get back on track and access more instruction.

 

A third need EBF helped fill is raising the starting salaries of teachers, which will increase by 15.2%, from $35,902 to $41,375, next year. EBF is also instrumental in making it possible for our district to fund a number of teacher recruitment initiatives, such as bonuses, referrals and exceptional placements to help offset the national teacher shortage problem. Like many school districts, Peoria Public Schools has been affected by the teacher shortage, in part, because the starting salary lagged behind similar-sized districts. About 37 vacancies currently exist.

 

EBF has helped Peoria Public Schools begin to improve its financial position and invest in innovative and meaningful instructional strategies that will help prepare students for productive and prosperous lives.  For us, this is a very welcome change.

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