Gov. Youngkin announces $30M in recovery grants to combat pandemic learning loss
Youngkin says students in Virginia and across the country experienced catastrophic learning loss through the pandemic.
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Any parent or guardian already knows that getting kids to pay attention in school and learn during the pandemic was tough.
In fact, we saw a historic learning loss during that time. That’s why the state is announcing grants to help parents pay for tutoring and other learning tools.
Governor Glenn Youngkin said these funds will be used for qualifying educational services. If you meet the income threshold, you can use the money for everything from tutoring, after-school teaching and enrichment programs, and summer services.
“We also know that this loss was happening before COVID,” Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera said. “We know COVID exacerbated it, made it worse, illuminated more, but we also know of Virginia that we are seeing the loss of math and reading beforehand.”
Governor Youngkin and the State Education team are working on getting students back on track, announcing $30 million in grants to help with the pandemic learning loss. Every family will have the chance to apply.
Qualifying students whose family income does not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level will receive a $3,000 K-12 learning recovery grant; all other qualifying students will receive a $1,500 K-12 learning recovery grant.
“But we also want to prioritize and make sure that the families that needed the most, and those that are at a 300% of the poverty level, or more, that they are able to actually get double the amount of these grants,” Guidera said. “So that if a family of four, for example, which makes under $90,000 in income, they will have the ability to tap into $3,000, rather than just $1,500, to make sure that they can access more services to make sure that their children are doing are catching up as quickly as possible.”
Guidera said a parent-friendly, secure online service will allow qualified families to be vetted and approved.
“We are still in the process of setting up the signup sheet,” Guidera said. “And we will be working. We just signed a contract with an organization that is going to help administer this. And to make sure that the dollars are being well spent, that we’re tracking it, that it goes to legitimate providers, and that we’re protecting privacy.”
Guidera said the state will launch a campaign with schools and different non-profit organizations to make sure every parent can get their child the help they need.
“And we have to turn that trendline around, and we need to make sure that we are providing support for providing good information, great interventions so that every single child is achieving at the level that needs to be,” Guidera said.
Guidera said the state will also provide for the first time actionable information on where students are in their learning journey to every parent in the commonwealth.
Governor Youngkin is in D.C. Tuesday night and is set to participate in a CNN Town Hall called “The Battle Over Education.”
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