PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Gov. Doug Ducey announced that Arizona is distributing $26.5 million to support our state's K-12 students this summer and get them ready for school next year.
Some of these programs include the Boys and Girls Club, as well as Teach For America Tutoring. But no matter the program, the end goal is the same: prevent that dreaded summer slide from happening.
Brittney Smith is a Mesa mom of four kids ranging from ages 4 to 11. Frustrated with the quality of online learning during the pandemic, she enrolled her kids into a charter school with in-person learning. And they'll be going to summer school there starting in June.
"I still feel like because of what they missed in the spring, that they are a little bit behind," says Smith. "My first-grader needs some help with reading and my fifth-grader needs help with writing. And different things I think summer school could help with." The money will help families like Smith's.
“Our teachers, students and families have worked hard to stay on track and ensure Arizona kids have all the support they need,” said Ducey. “We need to keep up this momentum. That’s why we’re providing additional dollars to avoid the Summer slide, maintain student engagement, provide tutoring, enhance educators’ professional development, and collect data on student outcomes."
All of those are areas that Deer Valley Unified School District's Dr. Gayle Galligan thinks are critical to getting her schools back on track. "We know that our kids are tired," says Galligan. "We know that our teachers are tired."
Other funding areas include counseling for students who feel disconnected and training for principals. The majority of these initiatives will either get started immediately or this summer. Still, families like Smith's are wondering why they weren't created sooner.
"My initial reaction is that it's a little late," says Smith. "It's the end of April. Most parents that I know have already made plans for what they're doing this summer."
Ducey's announcement also stated that there will be additional funding opportunities announced in the upcoming week. The money for this funding comes from the Governor's Emergency Relief funding, which is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Project Momentum: $17.5M (Summer 2021 through summer 2023)
-Build upon the strategic effort with Project Momentum Arizona to scale up existing partnership from three districts (Avondale ESD, Wickenburg USD and Deer Valley USD) to include additional systems serving, more than 100,000 Arizona students across the state.
Boys and Girls Clubs Summer Programming: $5M (Starting immediately through summer 2021)
-Clubs will open for extended hours to deliver academic success programs designed to mitigate learning loss, particularly among underserved youth. Youth will also be able to participate in full-day programs that include meals, gym time, outdoor play, art, and music. Funding for these summer programs will cover scholarships to serve 4,000 youth per week for eight weeks.
Graduation Alliance - Engaging disconnected students: $2.4M (Starts immediately, continues through the first semester of the upcoming school year)
-Provides outreach counseling, academic coaching, technical assistance and additional support to students who are deemed disconnected by their school district and will serve approximately 20,000 students.
Center for the Future of Arizona - Beat the Odds Principals Cohort: $700,000 (Summer 2021 and beyond)
-This funding doubles the investment made with previous GEER funding, which is currently being used to train 125 principals, impacting 48,600 students, spread across six counties.
Teach for America - Ignite Tutoring: $500,000 (2021-22 School Year)
-This funding will support approximately 150 tutors, serve 8-10 schools, and provide approximately 400-500 hours of support per week.
Jobs for Arizona Graduates (JAG): $300,000 (Summer 2021)
-JAG will provide support to offer a summer section of the JAG Course that will connect a group of students (20-40, depending on the campus) and provide support to re-engage in summer courses while also preparing for a full return to school in the fall. Efforts will focus on peer to peer connection, development of study skills, school success strategies, organization, time management and more. The program will support up to 20 sites, and potentially up to 800 students.
FosterEd Data Collection and Review: $125,000 (Work will begin immediately)
-Conduct an updated statewide analysis of the education outcomes for all youth in state care, helping to understand where need remains greatest and what the current state of education outcomes are since this report was first published in 2015, and again in 2018.
The dollars being distributed by the state come from Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funding, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Additional GEER funding announcements will be made in the coming weeks.
June 24, 2020 - Gov. Ducey announced $69.2 million in GEER funding for Arizona schools and students in greatest need. The targeted investments addressed issues like helping expand broadband, supporting innovative programs, and recruiting future teachers.
October 15, 2020 - Gov. Ducey announced $500,000 in GEER funding to continue expanding efforts across the state to increase high quality education options. The dollars were distributed by A for Arizona and supported the creation of effective small learning models and community partnerships that target students and families in need.
November 10, 2020 - The Governor, in partnership with Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, announced $19 million in GEER funding to support schools and students most impacted by COVID-19. The dollars helped schools with teacher development, teacher stipends, reading and math curriculum, summer education resources and more.
NEW:— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) April 29, 2021
We’re announcing the distribution of nearly $27M to support Summer learning programs, reach struggling students, enhance student achievement and expand tutoring opportunities. 1/