PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- Gov. Doug Ducey, along with Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, announced $19 million in funding on Tuesday to support schools and students in our state who are most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding comes from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund as part of the CARES Act.
The money will go to a program called the Acceleration Academies Grant Program. The program is designed to help more than 180 schools around our state with things like teacher development, teacher stipends, reading and math curriculum, summer education resources and more.
Eligibility for the program was determined through a partnership with Read On Arizona and the Maricopa Association of Governments. The organizations took a number of factors into consideration, including AZMerit scores, percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-priced meals, access to computers and internet, COVID-19 cases in the community and unemployment claims.
Gov. Ducey says additional dollars will be prioritized for schools most impacted in an effort to make sure no students are left behind. “No matter what education option parents choose, we are determined to make sure no student falls behind this year,” said Ducey. “Throughout our state, school leaders, educators and families have stepped up to overcome exceptionally challenging circumstances and deliver for our students. These dollars will boost those efforts, funding proven acceleration strategies to keep kids academically on-track.”
“We are definitely evaluating whether or not [Aug. 17] is a realistic date for Arizona,” Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman to Arizona’s Family Tuesday morning.
"Throughout the pandemic, we have worked to support teachers, ensure students' needs are met, and keep faculty, students and families safe," said Superintendent Hoffman. "We know more resources are needed to help our education communities respond to this pandemic."
"From teacher stipends to additional curriculum and much more, the Acceleration Academies Grant program will help our schools most in need," continued Hoffman. "I'm grateful to Arizona's educators for their hard work, dedication and sacrifices these last several months, and to Gov. Ducey for prioritizing our students."
The Arizona Department of Education will administer the grant money. It will also provide ways to measure the progress of the recipients.
Through the program, eligible schools can choose programs that best fit their needs. Some examples include:
- Training teachers in best practices for math and literacy instruction
- Teacher stipends for additional student tutoring sessions
- Contracting with qualified math or reading specialists to do one-on-one or small group work with students
- Operating summer math or reading intensive programs for students in need
School is starting this year the way it ended last year.
Back in July, Ducey announced the “Arizona: Open for Learning” plan. The plan provided maximum options for Arizona families so that students could receive a full academic year of education. The plan also invested $440 million in federal dollars to schools in our state.
Earlier this year, Ducey also announced $1 million in GEER funding to provide virtual professional development classes to teachers and to provide grants to help small learning communities with underserved students.
NEW: In partnership with @Supt_Hoffman, today we’re announcing $19 million to support schools and students most impacted by #COVID19. No matter what education option parents choose, we are determined to make sure no student falls behind this year. 1/ pic.twitter.com/0kovE0NsDW— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) November 10, 2020