U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today issued the following statement in response to the tragic events at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas:
“My heart is aching for all the families in Uvalde, Texas who are living through every parent’s greatest fear and worst nightmare: a shooting in their children’s school. As a parent, I am filled with grief for the families and students; concern that as our schools move past pandemic closures, the fear of shootings has become all too real once again; and anger at the lack of will by many to pass legislation that can protect our children. I pray our nation has not grown numb to the horrors that unfolded today at Robb Elementary School, when the lives of 18 precious children and a devoted educator were cut short. How many more lives must be lost before we realize that we, the people, and those we elect, have the power and the opportunity to ensure this never happens again?” Read more, click here.
Today, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced the approval of the American Samoa Department of Education’s (ASDOE) American Rescue Plan Outlying Areas State Educational Agency (ARP-OA SEA) implementation plan. ASDOE’s plan details how American Rescue Plan funds will be used to sustain the safe operation of schools and equitably expand opportunity for students who need it most, particularly those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more, click here.
The U.S. Departments of the Interior, Education and Health and Human Services launched a new interagency initiative today to preserve, protect, and promote the rights and freedom of Native Americans to use, practice, and develop Native languages.
The announcement was made as part of the 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit, which brings government officials and leaders from federally recognized Tribes together to discuss ways the federal government can invest in and continue to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship and ensure that progress in Indian Country endures for years to come. Read more, click here.
Today, the U.S. Department of Education released a new resource: Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health to provide information and resources to enhance the promotion of mental health and the social and emotional well-being among children and students. This resource highlights seven key challenges to providing school- or program-based mental health support across early childhood, K–12 schools, and higher education settings, and presents seven corresponding recommendations. This resource includes many real-world examples of how the recommendations are being put into action by schools, communities, and states across the country. Read more, click here.
Students across the country continue to return to in-person learning after more than a year of varied access to the educational opportunities they need to succeed. For example, some estimates show that 3 million students have either been consistently absent from or have not been actively participating in remote learning since the beginning of the pandemic. Today, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) released “Strategies for Using American Rescue Plan Funding to Address the Impact of Lost Instructional Time,” a resource to support educators as they implement, refine, and work to continuously improve their strategies for supporting students. Read more, click here.
Today, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) sent a letter to its state and local partners reiterating its commitment to ensuring children with disabilities and their families have successful early intervention and educational experiences in the 2021-2022 school year. Read more, click here.
Today, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced in a letter to school superintendents that it will administer a 2021-22 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), marking the first time that OCR has conducted a CRDC, including all public school districts and their schools, two years in a row, for 2020-21 and 2021-22. Read more, click here.
Today, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced the approval of Hawaii’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) plan and distributed remaining ARP ESSER funds to them. Hawaii’s plan details how the state is using and plans to use ARP ESSER funds to safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and equitably expand opportunity for students who need it most, particularly those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) released the “Return to School Roadmap,” a resource to support students, schools, educators, and communities as they prepare to return to safe, healthy in-person learning this fall and emerge from the pandemic stronger than before. The Roadmap provides key resources and supports for students, parents, educators, and school communities to build excitement around returning to classrooms this school year and outlines how federal funding can support the safe and sustained return to in-person learning. Read more, click here.
Today, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) launched the Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse (the Clearinghouse), a website that highlights the innovative work underway nationwide in continuing to reopen K-12 schools, early childhood centers and postsecondary institutions. Through the Clearinghouse, the Department is providing examples of how schools and other educational institutions can safely reopen as communities continue recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more, click here.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) launched the Summer Learning & Enrichment Collaborative today, providing support to 46 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Bureau of Indian Education, and three territories working together to use American Rescue Plan and other federal pandemic relief funding to support as many students as possible through enriching and educational summer programming. Summer programs are key in the nation’s efforts to address lost instructional and extracurricular time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For additional information, including award amounts, click here.
Today, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) released the COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 2: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs to provide additional strategies for safely reopening all of America’s schools and to promote educational equity by addressing opportunity gaps that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.See full press release, click here.
Yesterday, President Biden announced $81 billion in American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds made available for states to support their efforts to safely return to in-person instruction as expeditiously as possible this spring and meet the needs of all students. As of Wednesday, two-thirds of the funds—$81 billion in total—are available to states immediately. The Department is encouraging states to develop and implement plans to immediately utilize that funding to get more schools opened safely this spring and work to close the gaps in education equity that the pandemic has exacerbated. The remainder of ARP ESSER funds will become available after states submit the plans they are developing and implementing for using ARP ESSER funds to safely reopen schools and meet the needs of students to the Department. For additional information, including award amounts, click here.
U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona announced the launch of the Summer Learning & Enrichment Collaborative during the March 24 National Safe School Reopening Summit. The Collaborative, a partnership of the CCNetwork with the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association, will launch in April 2021 and bring education leaders and experts together as they develop their plans for this summer, with a focus on students who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The Collaborative will help build capacity for states and school districts, in partnership with other key stakeholders, to use ARP ESSER funds to identify and implement evidence-based summer learning and enrichment strategies that meet the needs of all students. Stay tuned here for more.
The National Safe School Reopening Summit, held on Wednesday, March 24, featured remarks from President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States, and educators from across the country, as well as panel discussions with Dr. Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Education, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other national, local and school education leaders and students. A recording of the summit can be accessed on the Department’s YouTube Channel. The Summit is one of a series of steps the Department is taking to provide support and resources to schools as they work to reopen quickly and safely and equitably address the academic, social, and emotional needs of students most impacted by the pandemic.
Yesterday, the Department released the first findings from the National Center for Education Statistics’ NAEP 2021 School Survey which show early progress in states and communities’ efforts to reopen schools. As of February, 76% of schools were open for full-time or hybrid learning. Data from January show there were critical gaps in access to in-person instruction, particularly for communities of color and students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Find more details on the Monthly School Survey Dashboard here.
The CDC updated the following guidance and information: COVID-19 Vaccines for Teachers, School Staff, and Childcare Workers. This webpage provides the latest information for teachers, school staff, and childcare providers on how to get vaccinated. It includes an updated list of childcare workers who can get vaccinated under this directive. A resource to help communicate the vaccination effort is a Communication toolkitwith posters, fact sheets, newsletter articles, social media graphics, and “I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine.” Additional resources that are written in plain language and in multiple languages include: 1.) Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines, 2.) Communication Resources for COVID-19 Vaccines, 3.)Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines, and 4.) Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine