TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Education plans to use a slice of $830 million in new federal funding for public education to address COVID-19 learning deficits by training K-3 teachers to help students absorb more from their reading.
Half of the 10% set aside for the state agency must be dedicated to rebounding students from the pandemic, while 1% has to be allocated for summer session and 1% for after-school programs. These dollars are to be invested in 286 public school districts across Kansas to counter the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on certain student populations and take into account the overall social, emotional and academic needs of nearly 500,000 children.
The bulk of this latest shipment of federal emergency aid — 90% of the $830 million — will be disbursed by individual school boards for benefit of students attending classes in the 1,300 school buildings statewide. Flexibility was included in federal law to allow districts and states to shift emphasis if education priorities had to be adjusted.