Governor Greg Abbott of Texas announced Monday that $123.3 million in federal relief money would be going to Texas schools.
The money is from the Coronavirus Response and and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, the bill passed by Congress in 2020. It contained nearly $82 billion in aid for education, to be shared across 50 states. It has already allocated $430 million into Texas education since the beginning of the pandemic. This latest announcement is merely the final round of money from that relief fund.
Of this newest allocation, $20 million is directly for the Supplemental Special Education Services program, which helps pay for the additional needs of eligible students in special education programs. Special education students have been especially heavily impacted by the pandemic – there has been little effort to make remote education accessible to those with variable needs, or to those from challenging home lives.
“The State of Texas remains committed to students and their success in our education systems — that includes ensuring parents have an option to send their kids to a high-quality charter school and providing direct support to families with children who have special needs,” Abbott said.
Another $30 million is earmarked at improving student enrollment. School districts have seen as many as one in five students disappear over the long months of remote education, and the resources necessary to reintegrate those students into schools are stretched painfully thin. This money will also provide support services to help keep borderline students from dropping out or failing to graduate, both in K-12 and in higher education.
“In addition to Texas’ commitment to student success programs, this funding will help ensure that students of all ages will not only enter into a higher education program, but they will leave as quickly as possible with a high-value degree or credential,” Governor Greg Abbott said in his Monday statement.
Also included is money to defray the costs of nursing and truck driving educations, two fields currently suffering critical staffing shortages, not just in Texas but across the country.
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