Karen Salmon

Karen Salmon

HARFORD COUNTY — Harford County Public Schools will be receiving nearly $19 million as part of additional federal COVID-19 relief grant funds which were recently announced by the Maryland State Department of Education

Late last week, MSDE Superintendent Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D. announced $781 million in additional funding to assist Maryland schools and students recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding, allocated through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, provides grant awards directly to local school systems and the SEED School to assist in reopening classrooms, assess and address learning loss, provide targeted tutoring and other initiatives to help alleviate the impacts of the pandemic. Of the $781 million, HCPS will receive $18,905,691.

“As our education system demonstrates resilience in the face of the public health emergency wrought by COVID-19, we must continue to prioritize the needs of the State’s children and ensure that all children have access to a meaningful education founded in excellence and equity,” said State Superintendent Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D. “These additional resources will help bridge the gaps widened by the pandemic and supplement the supports already in place to safely return students to in-person instruction, focusing on those most impacted during the crisis.”

The new funding, more than four times the initial awards to State education agencies under the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act earlier this spring, is intended to help States and school districts reopen schools, measure and effectively address significant learning loss, and take other actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the students and families who depend upon public K-12 education. The funding allows flexibility so that local school leaders can address the needs of their individual schools, and encourages investment in students with unique needs including children from low-income households, students and children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth.

In addition to the $780 million in funding provided by CRRSA, the State of Maryland and MSDE had already distributed $400 million in emergency funding to assist with technology, supplies, materials and equipment.

The CRRSA Act requires the Department to allocate the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Act (ESSER II) Funds based on the proportion that each State received under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) in the most recent fiscal year. Local systems will submit applications for the funds.

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