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Arizona Department Of Education Allocating $16 Million In COVID-19 Relief Funds To Various Initiatives

By Rocio Hernandez
Published: Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 12:10pm
Updated: Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 8:06am

The Arizona Department of Education building
Mariana Dale/ KJZZ
The Arizona Department of Education building in downtown Phoenix.

The Arizona Department of Education is allocating an additional $16 million of its discretionary COVID-19 relief funds, it announced Tuesday. The money is part of the $135.5 million in discretionary funds that the department received from two federal COVID-19 relief packages. With these new allocations, the department has now allocated $116 million of these funds. 

The $16 million will be invested into efforts focused on student equity and achievement, teacher recruitment and retention, and college access and attainment. This includes a partnership on an ASU summer math program for K-12 students, and a laptop and hotspot partnership with the city of Phoenix.

“The COVID-19 pandemic further exposed many long-standing inequities impacting Arizona students and families,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. “Through these partnerships and investments, the Department can, and should maximize the impact of these one-time federal dollars and ensure long-term recovery support for our public schools and the students they serve.”  

Kathy Hoffman
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Kathy Hoffman at a news conference on July 23, 2020.

The department has also agreed to fund a special-education cost study, which is needed to advocate for additional funding for these students at the state Capitol, but has not been commissioned in the past 14 years, according to a letter sent to Hoffman by community advocates such as the Helios Education Foundation, the Arizona School Administrators and the Council for Exceptional Children. 

"We need to ensure that this population of students is adequately funded into the future," they said in their letter.

ADE Discretionary Fund Investments To Date  

Student Equity And Achievement 

NEW: $9.6 million – Partnership with ASU Prep Digital: Math Momentum. 

NEW: $1 million – Parent Educator Academy: All in Education. 

NEW: $500k – Special Education Cost Study.  

NEW: $100k – Opportunities for Youth. 

NEW: $500k – Holistic Youth Transformation Program: New Pathways for Youth. 

NEW: $300k – Time is Now Youth Mentorship: Big Brothers, Big Sisters. 

$5 million – Special Education Compensatory Services Fund.  

$1 million – Funding for Arizona’s Office of Indian Education. 

Educator Recruitment And Retention 

NEW: $1 million – Diné Institute Teacher Fellows: Northern Arizona University. 

NEW: Additional $300k – Partnership with University of Arizona’s Center for Recruitment & Retention of Math Educators for Professional Development, for a total of $500,000. 

$2.5 million – Partnership with ASU Prep Digital: Arizona Virtual Teacher Institute. 

$2.5 million – Partnership with Arizona K-12 Center: New Teacher Mentoring. 

Safe And Healthy Schools 

NEW: Additional $100,000 – Social Emotional Learning: Trauma-Sensitive Training and Support for Schools, for a total of $470,000. 

$21.3 Million – Addition of 140 School Counselor & Social Worker Positions through the School Safety Grant Program  

Serving Arizona Schools Through the Pandemic And Beyond 

NEW: $853,000 – Laptop and Hotspot Partnership with City of Phoenix 

$2.3 Million – Support for Community Based Organizations, YMCA and Boys & Girls Club  

$1.5 Million – Expanding Rural Broadband with the Final Mile Project 

$15,000 – Kajeet Hotspots for Students & Families 

Post-Secondary Access And Attainment 

NEW: $600,000 – Partnership with AdviseAZ Americorps: College and Career Counseling.  

NEW: $1.5 million – Support for Ask Benji Chatbot: Increase FAFSA Completion Rates. 

$20,000 – Partnership with Arizona College Access Network. 

Additional Relief Funding For Public Schools 

$44.6 million – Support for Non-Title I-A Local Education Agencies.

$12.2 million – Additional Support for Title I-A Local Education Agencies. 

$6.3 million – Support for Career & Technical Education Districts.  

Coronavirus Education

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