Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

IDOE adds more literacy courses after larger-than-expected registration numbers

A person holds a sign that says, "Choice for Hoosier students but not for Hoosier Teachers."
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
Many teachers must receive training for a new literacy endorsement, even if they do not teach reading. The Indiana Department of Education created more training slots, but many educators still expressed concern with the new requirements.

Teachers who have not been able to sign up for literacy training funded by the Indiana Department of Education will have additional opportunities. The IDOE announced more spots will open for Keys to Literacy courses after thousands of educators registered in less than a month.

The IDOE announced the course in March as part of an effort to train teachers in the science of reading.A new law passed earlier this year requires pre-K, elementary and special education teachers to receive a literacy endorsement that aligns with the science of reading over the next few years when they renew their licenses.

Additionally, legislation passed in 2023 requires new pre-K to sixth grade teachers and special education teachers to receive a literacy endorsement that aligns with the science of reading when they apply for their first license after June 2025.

Registration opened for the Keys to Literacy training in April. That is one path educators can take to earn a literacy endorsement.

About 2,400 spots were available for spring and summer courses this year. Indiana Secretary of Education Katie Jenner said over the past three weeks, nearly 12,000 teachers registered.

“I saw some people jokingly say it’s harder to get signed up for this than get Taylor Swift tickets,” she said. “Yes, it was.”

Educators have criticized the requirements for the literacy endorsement. They spoke out at this week’s Indiana State Board of Education meeting and said courses should be available to complete during working hours and educators should be fully paid for their time.

READ MORE: Indiana teachers voice concerns over literacy endorsement rollout, high school redesign

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 765-275-1120. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues.

The state distributes $1,200 stipends to eligible educators who finish the Keys to Literacy course, but opponents say it’s not enough.

They also talked about the difficulty of setting aside 80 hours for literacy training over the summer and on weekends.

Maya Simon, a special education teacher in Indianapolis, told the State Board of Education she has had trouble finding open courses that work with her schedule.

“Most of the classes are full. The current open ones necessitate that I lose my summer because I am also teaching summer school. I am teaching summer school so I can afford to live near my place of work,” she said. “Your job is to help teachers during contract hours instead of burdening us with more work.”

Jenner said most educators will have at least a few years to complete a literacy endorsement.

“My license, as an example, expires in 2029,” she said. “Some of yours expire in 2031. You would have longer to get [the endorsement.] It’s at least a three-year period.”

The IDOE is working to give educators more Keys to Literacy course options. More than 10,000 additional spots have already been added, and Jenner said the fall 2024 and spring 2025 cohorts will also expand.

Kirsten is our education reporter. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter at @kirsten_adair.

Kirsten the Indiana Public Broadcasting education reporter. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter at @kirsten_adair.