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Florida finally applies for $2.3 billion in federal COVID school relief funds

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran
The U.S. Department of Education sent a letter Monday to Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran saying the state has missed the deadline to release the final round of federal relief money for schools.

Florida is the last state to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Education that's required before more than $2.3 billion in federal aid for Florida schools can be released.

Florida submitted its plan to draw down its remaining $2.3 billion in federal school relief money on Wednesday, proposing to boost reading and math programs and help students who want to learn a trade.

The plan also acknowledges the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, encouraging mask use and devoting money for online learning.

The 342-page plan was submitted two days after the U.S. Department of Education asked why Florida was the only state in the nation that hadn’t submitted its proposal for the third phase of coronavirus relief money.

The plan was developed using data from statewide assessments taken last spring. Test results were available in July and then educators, parents and others were surveyed to identify areas of need.

Narrowing the achievement gap in reading and math between students from lower-income families and other students is a high priority. The state Department of Education proposes hiring up to 2,000 additional reading coaches, making summer school available for students who need the most help and improving assessments to identify student progress.

Click here to read more on this story from the Associated Press

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