HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Governor Ned Lamont announced on Thursday Connecticut will be receiving $111 million in federal coronavirus relief aid for the state’s school districts. The funds will be used to support continued distance learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to officials, the funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSERF) of the CARES Act supporting grades Pre-K through 12.
While Connecticut was awarded a total of $111 million, $11.1 million will be reserved for state-level activities. The remaining balance of $99.9 million will be distributed to local school districts based on the proportion of Title I funding they received for fiscal year 2020.
School districts can submit applications to the state and the funding will be allocated based on greatest need. The Connecticut State Department of Education is in the process of developing an application process for school districts, which will include specific questions concerning how the district determined which areas need to be focused on, which strategies they will use, and how remote learning will be part of their solution.
Regular feedback from districts will be expected as school officials outline the strategies they plan to use to address student learning gaps, provide universal access to remote learning, and safely reopen schools. State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona will be sending a letter to every superintendent in the state with information about the funds.
For information on the four statewide priorities provided by the State Department of Education, click here.
Districts may use funds for any activity authorized under the major federal grant categories including:
- Elementary and Secondary Education Act
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
- Adult Education and Family Literacy Act
- Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act
- McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act
Under ESSERF, types of eligible activities include:
- Planning for and coordination between schools and families during long-term closures
- Purchasing educational and assistive technology
- Providing mental health services and supports
- Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning, supplemental after-school programs and addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care.