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Lawsuit Forces California Schools To Spend $2 Billion of COVID-Relief Funds On Learning Loss

via CNN
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California has been compelled to allocate $2 billion to aid students in recovering from learning loss caused by school closures due to the pandemic.

The state will utilize remaining COVID-19 relief funds for tutoring and other initiatives to address the learning setbacks.

The settlement aims to assist students, particularly those from low-income and minority backgrounds, and requires funds to be used for hiring tutors and implementing measures to support their educational recovery.

“The urgent vision of this historic settlement is not just to recoup the academic losses suffered by California’s most disadvantaged students, but to erase the opportunity gaps altogether exacerbated by the pandemic,” Mark Rosenbaum said.

The agreement also includes proposed legislation to enable funds to be directed to community organizations with a proven record of improving student success.

The settlement mandates that local education agencies report on the success of programs designed to help students facing learning loss.

“Proposing these changes also allowed the state to resolve the [case], and we appreciate the collaborative approach and the insights that plaintiffs offered that informed this proposal,” California Department of Education director Elizabeth Sanders said.

“We look forward to engaging with the Legislature and stakeholders over the coming weeks and months to advance this proposal and focus learning recovery dollars on serving the students with the greatest needs,” she said.

The development follows a significant decline in reading scores and stalled progress in reading and math for elementary and middle school students, as highlighted in a study and a report from the Department of Education.

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