New York education officials are seeking $19.9 million in federal funding for developing new education models as schools consider how to bring students back in September amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Each day it becomes increasingly clear that the pandemic has further exacerbated the equity gaps among our students who were already most at risk and marginalized,” Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “While nothing can replace the importance of face to face instruction, with these funds, we hope to effectively implement blended instructional approaches that meet the needs of all children.”
The grant funds would help develop plans for a combination of in-person and remote learning. The money would come from the U.S. Department of Education and be released over a three-year period to implement the program.
It's not yet clear what shape the school year will take for students, teachers and parents. Schools were closed in March as the virus began to rapidly spread in New York. New coronavirus cases have ebbed in the state, but the pandemic has spiked elsewhere in the country.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said the school year remains up in the air now, especially as health officials study a new virus that may be linked to COVID and has infected children. Schools in May were asked to develop local plans for a safe reopening by the end of the summer.
“Since mid-March, educators across the State have worked around the clock to offer New York’s students high-quality learning opportunities,” said Interim Commissioner Shannon Tahoe. “Our school systems adapted rapidly to provide for continuity of learning. Now we will build on those efforts and provide teachers and school leaders with professional learning experiences to help them effectively engage their students in blended/remote learning opportunities.”