BESE Board approves $31 million in relief funding for school systems and early childhood education communities


BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – As the state rebounds from closures due to COVID-19, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) recently approved almost “$31 million in federal relief funding for school systems and early childhood education communities,” according to the Louisiana Department of Education.

The funding is meant to ensure a strong start for all children.

“Our schools will benefit greatly from this additional funding,” said State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley. “I appreciate BESE’s action to quickly allocate these funds.”

The $31 million was made available through the CARES Act.

According to the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE), “$25 million is going to school systems and around $6 million is going to early childhood.”

These entities are tasked with using the money to implement plans that are prioritized by the Louisiana Department of Education.

LDE has made a “Strong Start 2020 Planning Guide” available for the next school year and it notes what operations must ensure:

  • Every student’s academic needs are identified at the beginning of the year using a high-quality, standards-aligned diagnostic tool.
  • There is a plan for every student, including extra time and support for students with the greatest unfinished learning from the prior year. 
  • There are clear next steps for every high school student and recent graduate, who will enter a new economy.

LDE also says that schools should have a plan in place if COVID-19 causes more closures down the road:

  • 1:1 device and internet access, including assistive technology for students with disabilities;
  • A strategic communications plan to connect with every student on a daily basis, provide weekly feedback on students’ work, and communicate a family’s role in supporting their child’s continuous learning;
  • Versatile delivery methods for instruction, related services, and professional development;
  • Adaptive staffing models that optimize teaching talent and student support; and
  • Flexible and opportunistic calendars and school schedules that maximize learning opportunities in a dynamic public health context.

LDE also provided a “Strong Start 2020 Planning Guide” for early childhood communities which copies the plan for K-12 education.

The planning guide emphasizes how these entities must make sure that:

  • All child care centers have the tools and resources they need to reopen safely and in accordance with Office of Public Health guidelines. 
  • Communities sustain and/or increase access to opportunities for early childhood care and education in the near and long-term. 
  • Teachers are prepared to lead classrooms and provide high-quality interactions for children every day.
  • Families are supported to re-enroll children in early childhood programs, or to provide quality care and education in their homes if programs are unable to reopen or remain open.

Both K-12 and early childhood communities must agree and/or submit plans that agree with these priorities in order to get the federal COVID-19 Community Child Care Recovery Grants.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest BRProud Articles

More Local News

Stay up to date with the latest news by downloading the BRProud App from the App Store or Google Play.

Trending Stories