INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis area school district has been awarded more than $6 million from the U.S. Department of Education to help increase compensation for educators and help promote educator diversity.

According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Education, the department awarded more than $114 million to support 29 Teacher and School Leader Incentive projects throughout the country. Out of the total, $2,521,025 went to Perry Township Schools for the current school year.

These funds from the department are aimed at supporting states and school districts to help eliminate educator shortages.

Officials say the grant will be divided out over a three-year span.  

“More than 80% is going towards our teachers. The rest of the funding will focus on building foundational literacy skills in our students,” said Jeff Spencer, assistant superintendent of Perry Township Schools. 

According to the release, the grants will help support career advancement and teacher leadership opportunities, increase compensation for teachers and improve educator retention.

All students benefit from a diverse and well-supported educator workforce that can prepare them to lead,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in the release. “While all students benefit from diverse teachers, when students of color see their backgrounds and experiences reflected in their teachers, we see higher levels of academic achievement and student engagement in school, and more students aspiring to be teachers themselves one day. That’s why attracting, retaining, and supporting a diverse educator workforce is a top priority in our efforts to Raise the Bar for learning conditions in our schools. This nearly $115 million investment will help states and school districts recruit and retain new talent, increase compensation, and address educator shortages that we know disproportionately impact students from our communities of color, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities and English learners.”

Perry Township Schools is the only district in the state to receive this teachers and school leaders’ incentive program grant.