US Department of Education approves Alabama’s plan for COVID relief funds

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The United States Department of Education on Thursday approved Alabama’s plan for how it is using and plans to use more than $2B from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief.

The plan prioritizes returning all schools to in-person learning, addressing learning loss due to the pandemic, and supporting students’ mental health.

The plan includes continuing COVID-19 testing and vaccinations for school community members. The state also wants to continue paying health care professionals and aides to provide those services in schools. Some of the money will also be used to hire key support staff like nurses, counselors, social workers, and psychologists to support students’ mental health.

Alabama officials say they have already used some of the money to address learning loss by implementing summer reading camps.

In may, the U.S. Department of Education released $1.3B in American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds to Alabama. With Thursday’s approval, the department will release the final $674,804,885 to Alabama.

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