In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, Minnesota students, families, and educators have faced unprecedented disruption in education. State, district, and charter school leaders—along with thousands of educators and support staff—have taken quick action to shift to distance learning and implement plans for food, academics, and more.
In addition to state efforts, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes $13.5 billion for K-12 schools and $3 billion in emergency support grants to help K-12 schools and higher education institutions impacted by COVID-19. Minnesota is projected to receive about $184 million in K-12 federal stimulus funds, with the vast majority being distributed through the Title 1 formula.
As Minnesota state, district, and charter leaders work through how to respond to the barriers facing our state’s most underserved students and start to plan how they will spend the federal dollars, it is critical to:
- Prioritize equity: Ensure education continuity—including access to devices and the internet—and accommodating students with special needs and English learners.
- Address learning loss: Plan for how to identify and address the learning loss that many of our students will experience, including opportunities for summer school and extended day.
- Gather stakeholder input: Consult stakeholders—families, students, educators, and communities—about how to spend stimulus funds and move forward with student needs at the center.