Rome News-Tribune

Feds sign off on final portion of pandemic relief for Ga. schools

- By Dave Williams

ATLANTA — Georgia schools are about to receive the final $1.4 billion installmen­t of $4.2 billion in federal coronaviru­s relief funds the state Department of Education was allocated through legislatio­n Congress passed in March.

The U.S. Department of Education approved the state’s plan for the stimulus money on Thursday. Georgia received the first $2.8 billion shortly after President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law.

Of the total $4.2 billion package earmarked for Georgia, $3.8 billion will go directly to school districts across the state. The other $425 million will be used to address statewide needs.

“We are focused on supporting learning, expanding resources for student mental health and wellbeing, and ensuring the safety of students, staff, and families,” State School Superinten­dent Richard Woods said.

“We will use these funds to deploy state-level Academic Recovery Specialist­s, establish school-based health clinics, and more. The resources we’ve been given will directly support schools and students.”

More than 1.7 million Georgia students were forced to switch to online classes in March of last year as cases of COVID-19 began to mount. The 202021 school year that began last August was conducted with a mishmash of virtual and inperson instructio­n.

The state- and regionalle­vel Academic Recovery Specialist­s will help teachers and administra­tors recover from the gaps in learning resulting from the disruption the pandemic brought to the schools.

The federal money also will pay for state-level support for school nurses, school psychologi­sts, school social workers, wraparound services and military families. It will help establish school-based health clinics for rural students, provide mental-health awareness training for educators and provide support and therapeuti­c services for students with disabiliti­es.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States