“Renew K-12 Learning”
Governor J.B. Pritzker announced today that Illinois will receive around $7 billion in federal dollars to “renew K-12 learning.”
“I’m very pleased to announce that thanks to the American Rescue Plan, about $7 billion will be available over the next three years to renew K-12 learning for Illinois students, an unparalleled influx of resources in which we can do truly the right by our students,” said Pritzker.
The governor acknowledged parents’ concerns over the last year.
“If you’re a parent I know you’ve spent most of this pandemic worried about how your kids are learning with all the screens and the Zooms. Sometimes you’re worried about whether they’re learning at all,” said Prtizker. “To say nothing of the most constant worry how will this pandemic impact their future.”
With this funding for school districts, he said they can further help students by funding tutoring, extended hours, and intensive mental health services which are usually expensive.
“These federal resources make it possible for districts to make significant investments that were otherwise out of reach,” said Pritzker.
Learning Renewal Resource Guide
The governor’s office and the Illinois P-20 Council are also releasing a 180 page Learning Renewal Resource Guide for school district superintendents and administration.
“The Learning Renewal Resource Guide isn’t a substitute for local ideas and homegrown initiatives. But it is an expert companion of some of the best ways to renew learning,” said Pritzker. “This living document serves as a starting point to our ongoing conversations about how to best meet students and educators where they are. Most important, the guide recognizes that there’s no one size fits all solution for the thousands of schools that span our almost 58,000 square miles of Illinois, but it does guide every district through the best ways to embrace their students after this long period of disruption.”
The guide is meant to help with academic and behavioral counseling, tutoring, after school programs and summer camps.
Pritzker is also encouraging districts to invite students, teachers, local government leaders, libraries, non profits, and parents into this conversation.
In addition to work at the district level, the governor is also launching four initiatives at the state level – high impact tutoring, social and emotional learning, interim assessment guidance, and bridge transition support.
The full press conference can be found here.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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