By Alabama Newscenter Staff
Gov. Kay Ivey awarded $48 million of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund to the Alabama State Department of Education in response to challenges related to COVID-19. This allocation will enable schools to enact policies established in the department’s Roadmap to Reopening Schools.
As schools across Alabama navigate increased challenges related to COVID-19, this initial investment will assist by providing budget stability, enabling distance learning for students who seek it and getting additional resources to students most in need.
The allocation will be used as follows:
- $10 million to equip all school buses with Wi-Fi capabilities to increase internet connectivity and help bridge the digital divide.
- $4 million to improve remote learning opportunities by providing digital textbook and library resources for all students.
- $26 million to provide additional academic support to bridge learning and achievement gaps.
- $9 million to support intensive before- and after-school tutoring resources for learning and remediation in schools.
Additionally, Alabama institutions of higher education will be able to submit requests for a combined reimbursement of up to $50 million through the federal coronavirus relief bill. Alabama received approximately $1.9 billion of the funding to respond to and mitigate the pandemic. Alabama Act 2020-199 designated up to $118.3 million of the coronavirus aid for any lawful purpose as provided by the U.S. Congress or the U.S. Treasury Department.
“I am pleased to invest in our state’s greatest asset – our students,” Ivey said. “As we respond and adapt to COVID-19, we must ensure that our local school districts and institutions of higher education receive necessary support and provide our students full access to their educational opportunities. Closing school during the pandemic disproportionately impacts students who are already struggling, and it is our obligation to provide as much stability and access possible in these uncertain times.”