School districts in Connecticut will be receiving $111 million in federal novel coronavirus (COVID-19) relief aid to address the disruptions that have been caused by the outbreak.
Schools in Connecticut were forced to shut their doors and transition to remote learning months early due to the outbreak, causing financial hardship for districts across the state and region.
In response, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced the influx in funds that were awarded by the U.S. Department of Education under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.
“This global pandemic is causing unprecedented consequences that we have never experienced in our lifetimes, and our school systems have been forced to respond in creative ways,” Lamont said. “I applaud our many teachers and educational staff who have been working through this trying time to provide distance learning nd continue engaging our students.”
Lamont said that of the $111 million, $11.1 million will be reserved for state-level activities, with the rest being distributed to local school districts based on the proportion of Title I funding they received in 2020.
“Our administration is determined to work with school districts to ensure that we can maintain these efforts and every student has access to the educational opportunities that they deserve,” he added.
Select school districts will receive:
- Hartford: 10.3 million;
- Waterbury: $9.3 million;
- Bridgeport: $9.1 million;
- New Haven: $8.5;
- Stamford: $2.7 million;
- Danbury: $2.3 million;
- Norwalk: $2 million.
State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona said he is sending a letter to every superintendent in the state with information about the funds.
“While ensuring equity and access to education has always been our top priority, this pandemic has exacerbated the opportunity gaps that have always persisted for our most vulnerable students, such as students with special needs and English learners,” Cardona said. “Now more than ever, we remain committed to breaking down the barriers that result in a lack of equitable access to technology, connectivity, and high quality learning materials.
“We acknowledge districts are expending considerable resources as they navigate these uncharted waters,” he continued. “The department has developed an expedited process to allocate this federal grant as the funding will be critical to bolstering districts’ efforts to meet the areas of greatest need within their school communities and continue providing education to all students in a way that is accessible, equitable and meaningful.”
The Connecticut State Board of Education said that “the road to recovery for school districts will in many ways be unique to the district and most likely include delivering education with a mix of traditional classroom settings along with continuing online, distance learning.”
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