MISSOURI, USA — Missouri schools are getting a major boost from the U.S. Department of Education to help bridge the "digital divide" that can make remote learning difficult for some students in the state.
Last week, Governor Mike Parson announced that students would not return to their school buildings for the rest of the year as part of the effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. For most schools, that means at-home and online learning. Unfortunately, not all students have access to the resources they need for this new normal.
This week, Missouri received confirmation that K-12 schools in the state will get $208 million from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security(CARES) Act. The money will be used to help bridge what Gov. Parson's office is calling the "digital divide" in underprivileged areas of the state.
“We know remote learning looks different in every district across the state, and I want to thank all of our educators, as well as our families at home, for stepping up and finding creative ways to continue educating our students during this difficult time,” Parson said in a news release.
The money will be distributed through Title I allocations, meaning the schools that need the money most will be first in line.
Parson's office also said the state is getting $54.6 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief as part of the CARES Act. That money will be used to support K-12 schools, institutions of higher education and other education entities significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education also received the approval of a federal waiver that gave the department "unprecedented flexibility" when it comes to using federal title dollars they already have. The release said this will allow the department to use the federal funds they already have to best serve schools in the state.