Louisiana can apply for nearly $287 million in federal aid to support learning for K-12 students whose education has been disrupted by the coronavirus shutdown, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said last week.
More than $13.2 billion in emergency relief for K-12 education is being made available nationwide through the federal CARES Act.
The Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund can be used for immediate needs, including, tools and resources for distance education, ensuring student health and safety, and developing and implementing plans for the next school year. The money comes with “very few bureaucratic strings attached,” DeVos said.
“I encourage them to focus on investing in the technology, distance learning resources, training and long-term planning that will help education continue for both teachers and students, no matter where learning takes place,” she said.
State education departments have until July 1 to apply. The applications are expected to be processed within three days. Under the act, state agencies are allowed to keep up to 10 percent of the money to cover their costs and are required to distribute 90 percent to local districts.
“This funding will give Louisiana students the resources to succeed even under challenges they’ve never walked through before,” U.S. Sen. John Kennedy said Thursday.
Schools in Louisiana have been closed since mid-March.
Interim State Superintendent Beth Scioneaux said systems “need additional support related to technology access for students; services for students with disabilities; and professional development for teachers to successfully provide continuous education using high-quality and standards-aligned curricula.”