The Louisiana Department of Education announced Thursday that it has received $4 billion in federal funding to accelerate recovery efforts from the pandemic.
The funds, according to LDOE, are part of three stimulus recovery packages approved by Congress known as the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.
Ninety percent of the funds will flow directly to school systems and will be accessible through the grant application called "Achieve!"
A virtual press conference was held at 10:00 am on July 15 to discuss the funding and how "Achieve!" will guide improvements for Louisiana school systems.
LDOE says that the multi-year planning and budgeting process allows school systems to request additional funds to support the implementation of new initiatives to prevent, prepare and respond to the coronavirus. Funds will be available for use by school systems until September 2024.
Louisiana State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Cade Brumley, says the state will invest an additional $300 million to support students, educators, families and communities.
"This once-in-a-lifetime resource gives us a chance to make short and long term impact for students across our state," Brumley says. "We must overcome the very real pandemic-related deficits, but also recognize this catalyst opportunity to be better for our future."
The department says it is confident that the influx of financial resources will provide opportunities for school systems to invest in building a strong educator workforce, accelerate learning, and ultimately achieve the best outcomes for students.
"We're confident that this multi-year plan will provide long-lasting, positive outcomes for Louisiana students," he states. "Our department was already committed to enriching student lives, but this influx of funds will provide an opportunity to create a more robust learning experience for every learner, especially following a year of unprecedented academic and emotional challenges."
In August, LDOE says it plans to release a fiscal dashboard that will report how school systems are budgeting and spending their relief monies. The dashboard will include state and local data on a monthly and quarterly basis.
LDOE will also track state set-aside funds in the same manner and provide quarterly updates on these expenses.
Reporting is expected to begin late this summer.
To learn more about Achieve!, visit the LDOE website.
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