Various Arizona learning programs to receive $65M in federal, state funding

Aug 19, 2021, 4:05 AM

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — A variety of programs in Arizona that aim to improve K-12 literacy, support adult education and expand teacher professional development will receive $64.9 million in federal and state funding, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Tuesday.

Among the funding is $20.1 million from the American Rescue Plan to expand learning opportunities for students of all ages and support communities in need, according to a press release.

This includes funding for Goodwill Excel Centers that serve adult students.

Also receiving funding is a program that provides an alternative for Arizona teens and young adults seeking to re-engage in their academics, money to establish a group that recruits and trains students from minority communities to implement early literacy and social-emotional education as well as funds for literacy coaching.

Just over $9 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Fund will work to close the achievement gap and prepare students for the future, according to the release.

Part of that money will be used to develop 50 microschools.

Additional funding will go toward a program that will provide 90,000 students in need with financial literacy and workforce training, a college savings scholarship and financial literacy program that will help around 2,100 university and community college students, along with money for the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University to expand civics education for high school and college students.

The rest of the funding comes from the state budget that was passed at the end of June, which includes money for transportation solution grants, funds to deploy literacy coaches at low-performing schools as well as funding to cover the cost of certification exams for Career and Technical Education Program students who cannot afford it.

Additional money from the state budget will go toward a program that helps teachers and school leaders make a shift to personalized learning in the classroom, along with the implementation of a standardized state kindergarten entry evaluation.

“Educators, school leaders and families have worked tirelessly to keep Arizona students on track and prepare them for their next steps,” Ducey said in the release.

“We’re making targeted investments to connect adult students with jobs, strengthen literacy education in K-12 schools, enhance professional development for teachers, help students learn money management, expand access to high quality education and much more.”

Students continue to excel in and out of the classroom as they recover from the effects of the pandemic and distance learning, and we will continue to put our resources toward helping them succeed.”

Ducey also announced Tuesday $163 million of additional federal funding would be distributed only to districts and charters that follow Arizona law – such as those that don’t have a mask mandate – and stay open for in-person instruction.

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Various Arizona learning programs to receive $65M in federal, state funding