HARTFORD (AP) – Connecticut’s plan to use $ 110 million federal pandemic aid to reopen the state’s K-12 schools for face-to-face learning while addressing the effects of lost class time in the final school year and education gaps will be reduced in the long term, has been approved by the federal government, Governor Ned Lamont announced on Friday.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday released the remaining $ 369 million in federal pandemic aid for education to the state. With this latest batch, Connecticut will receive roughly $ 1.1 billion from the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Middle School Relief Fund, according to federal data. The state had previously received $ 737 million in March.
Combined with other federal education COVID relief funds, Connecticut has raised roughly $ 1.7 billion since the pandemic began, according to the state Department of Education.
“This historic level of funding enables us as an educational community to be courageous and innovative as we pave our path to transformative and equitable recreation,” said Charlene Russell-Tucker, commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Education, in a written statement.
Using data published or provided by the states and the federal government, the Associated Press counted for the first time how much money was given to almost every county in the country.
A review of approximately $ 155 billion of the $ 190 billion in pandemic aid the federal government has provided schools with shows that Connecticut lags behind most states in funding per student. Nationwide, the median per student is around 2,800 US dollars. But for Connecticut, it’s $ 1,578.32, according to the preliminary analysis.
The cities in the country have typically received much larger amounts per student. Hartford Public Schools top the list at $ 8,543 per student. New London received $ 7,942 per student compared to $ 7,779 for New Britain; $ 7,709 for Norwich; $ 7,523 for Waterbury; and $ 7,457 for Bridgeport. The majority of state allocations are made according to the formulas that favor districts with high levels of poverty.
In contrast, smaller churches received much less, often around several hundred dollars. Tolland public schools received $ 210 per student, while the amount for Wilton is $ 237; $ 324 for Eastford and $ 367 for Simsbury.
In addition to helping the return to face-to-face learning, Connecticut’s plan seeks to accelerate lost classroom time through “high-level tutoring to support students with certain learning disabilities,” statewide K-8 model curricula, and expanded access to online / digital platforms to expedite learning and opportunity for students to regain lost credits.
Federal funding will also be used to cover the cost of “advanced pathways to educator certification,” with an emphasis on multilingual and specialty educators, and black and male educators, according to Connecticut education officials.
Funding is also planned to help manage students’ mental health issues as they transition into class, including providing on-site mental health specialists from community mental health facilities. A portion of the federal funding is expected to be used to increase educator engagement with the families while helping to cover the cost of expanded post-school programs and summer courses.