Why students could look forward to summer school this year

April 22, 2021 • Filed under News

By Leandra Bernstein, WJLA (ABC in Washington, DC)

After a school year unlike any other, school districts around the country are beginning to announce plans for summer learning programs to help students who fell behind during the pandemic.

“What I’m concerned about is all of these communities will race to create programs and not enough families will know about them and sign up,” said Aaron Dworkin, CEO of the National Summer Learning Association.

“We want to make sure we can get the message out to parents and families that…summer is open. A lot of people don’t know,” he said. Dworkin acknowledged that there are still uncertainties around COVID-19, but there are guidelines from public health authorities and data from last year showing summer programs can be run safely.

In total, the federal government authorized $122 billion in COVID-19 relief aid for K-12 schools in the American Rescue Plan. That package included $30 billion specifically allocated for learning recovery programs, like summer school, afterschool programs, tutoring and enrichment activities.

Roughly $2.5 billion was set aside for states to administer summer learning and afterschool programs. A much larger portion of the funding, $22 billion, was directed to local education agencies to support learning recovery with evidence-based interventions, including summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year programs.

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