Right now, governors can help students, families and educators in their state respond to and recover from continued effects of COVID-19. Leaders in Michigan, New Hampshire and Massachusetts recently announced their initiatives utilizing CARES Act funding aimed at education support and recovery.
Last week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her priorities to direct $65 million in GEER funding to support economically disadvantaged K-12 schools bridge the digital divide and mitigate learning loss. These priorities include:
- Connectivity through devices, internet access or access to remote services;
- Supplementary content and intervention services to mitigate learning loss;
- Remote learning materials and training, where remote learning continues as an instructional delivery model; and
- Additional professional development in digital communication tools and online instructional strategies.
The additional funding will be directed to school districts that provide education services to children most at need, keeping them safe and academically engaged.
Last month, Governor Chris Sununu announced a $1.5 million investment of GEER funding toward 800 scholarships for low-income students to seek an educational experience that works for them. Helping cash-strapped parents who were using their own funds to send their child to a great school will help prevent a flood of students back into districts that are already projecting budget shortfalls.
A portion of Governor Charlie Baker’s GEER funding plan will go toward improving early literacy and expanding access to remote learning opportunities. Up to $10 million will go to early literacy programs that provide extra help to students through third grade, specifically aimed at remediating learning loss that students may have experienced since schools closed in March. The funds will also help to accelerate the reading skills of children in high-need communities. Governor Baker’s plan also includes $7.5 million to expand access to online courses, including advanced placement, early college and dual enrollment courses.