/Lagging behind other states, Reeves makes $23 million in education relief funds available

Lagging behind other states, Reeves makes $23 million in education relief funds available

Nonprofit Mississippi News Gov. Tate Reeves’ Office is now seeking applications to a portion of the $34.6 million federal COVID-19 education relief funds. This comes after other states have already approved their funds. Although the federal government granted Mississippi emergency money on June 1, Reeves’ office issued its funding priorities last week and asked for proposals for $23million of that funds. The majority of states, and all those in the Deep South except Mississippi and Tennessee, submitted their initial 45-day reports detailing the use of the funds early in the process. Florida used part of the funds in July to give “summer rehabilitation grants” to school districts. Mississippi applied for an extension, but submitted its report September 3. Reeves requested an extension because he wanted to see how other relief funds were used for distance learning. Renae Eze, Reeves’ communications director, explained that Reeves also wanted to know how the Department of Human Services used their CARES dollars to ensure Mississippians had access to all the services they needed. A request for proposals was sent out September 10, despite the fact that Reeves had been approved by the federal government for funding on June 1. September 24 is the deadline for schools and other eligible groups that can apply for the funds. Eze stated that the next section of the request to submit proposals will be made as soon as the current funds have been awarded. Eze stated that the deadline for the governor to award funds is June 1, 2021. The funds will not be released if there aren’t enough quality proposals. This is according to Holly Spivey, Reeves education policy advisor and Headstart Collaboration Director. The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), which was passed in March. One category of funding in the CARES Act is the Education Stabilization Fund. This fund then gets broken down into additional categories, including the GEER Fund. The Mississippi Department of Education manages other pots of education money and directs colleges and universities to handle them. Governor’s funds will be distributed at Reeves’ sole discretion. READ MORE: Mississippi will receive millions of education CARES Act funds. The U.S. Department of Education announced that nearly $3 billion of GEER funds would be available to governors in April. This was according to a press release. This money will be used to help schools that have been most severely affected by COVID-19. It could also be used to help colleges and universities that are in greatest need. The funds can also be used to support other schools or “education-related entities”, which are defined as any governmental, nonprofit, or for-profit entity in the state that provides services supporting preschool and K-12 education. Reeves identified two priorities for funding the first category. The first is for educational services for children younger than 5 years, while the second is for school-aged children. Day cares and other child-care organizations can apply to funds to provide education and care for children aged 5 to 17. Parents and caregivers can also apply for funds to improve the quality and education of young children’s care and education. This includes providing technical assistance, training, and access to programs; providing safety equipment and supplies; and building the capacity of long-term care providers to provide quality services. Education services for school-aged children is the second priority, which includes those with developmental delays or other disabilities. These services should include school-day and work-day care for children in foster care, whose parents are essential workers, who have lost access or are at risk from losing their jobs due to a lack or inadequate child care. According to the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), Carey Wright, the State Superintendent of Education, and Jason Dean, the Chairman of the Mississippi State Board of Education have been in “regular communication” about Reeves’ office’s priorities for mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on public schools. Jean Cook, a spokesperson for the MDE, stated that the MDE was in agreement with the Governor’s Emergency Education Response Fund (GEERF) Fund plans. This fund prioritizes childcare from birth through age 5, services for school-age students with disabilities, and innovation strategies for distant learning. After schools, daycares, and other educational institutions have received their share, they have until September 2022 to commit the money. The U.S. Department of Education advises grant recipients to “deploy GEER funds rapidly.”_x000D