Nearly $260 million in federal relief funding will be distributed to school systems across Louisiana to support recovery efforts from closures due to COVID-19.
The Louisiana Department of Education says that $260 million of the allocated $287 million from the the federal government's Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act will go directly to school systems on Friday, May 1.
The remaining money will go towards establishing grant opportunities for critical priorities, according to a release.
Relief funds will be distributed to school systems based on their student populations.
The department also made guidance available that focuses on a "strong start" to the 2020-2021 school year.
The guidance includes:
- Every student's academic needs are identified at the beginning of the year using high-quality diagnostic tools and assessments that align to Louisiana's learning standards.
- There is a plan for every student, including extra time and support for students with the greatest unfinished learning from the prior year.
- There are clear next steps for every high school student and recent graduate who will enter a new economy.
Additionally,the Department advised all school systems to have strong yet agile continuous education plans that provide standards-aligned instruction using high-quality curriculum during school facilities closures or modified operations, including provisions for:
- 1:1 device and internet access, including assistive technology for students with disabilities
- A strategic communications plan to connect with every student on a daily basis, provide weekly feedback on students' work, and communicate a family's role in supporting their child's continuous learning
- Versatile delivery methods for instruction, related services, and professional development
- Adaptive staffing models that optimize teaching talent and student support
- Flexible and opportunistic calendars and school schedules that maximize learning opportunities in a dynamic public health context.
The department says they plan to release more resources to school systems next week.
Information and resources will also be provided to families ahead of students heading back to school.
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