U.S. Department of Education turns to philanthropy groups for money
"Over $220 Million Dollars in Investments from Government, Private, and Public Sectors to Support Student Recovery"
On April 27, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced an investment of over $220 millon by the government, along with private and public sectors to '“support student recovery.”
“As we move beyond reopening, the Biden-Harris Administration and the Department of Education will remain laser-focused on helping students recover academically from the pandemic and access the academic, mental health, and other supports they need to thrive,” said USED Secretary Miguel Cardona in a press release.
“We are already seeing the impact the American Rescue Plan is having on schools, students, families, and educators—from increased access to academic and mental health supports to expanded summer learning and enrichment programs funded by federal pandemic relief funds,” Cardona said. “With additional investments from the Department’s grant programs and the philanthropic community, we can scale our recovery efforts, make ARP dollars have an even greater impact, and ensure every student—no matter their background, family income, or zip code—has the academic and mental health supports they need to succeed. In states and districts across the country, American Rescue Plan funds are having a direct impact on student, family, and educators’ recovery.”
The $220 million includes $60 million from philanthropy groups from well-known groups like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, known for its heavy-handed involvement in Common Core. Also on the list is the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation which in 2020 awarded $15 million to groups combatting “systemic racism” as part of its larger 10-year, $150 million racial justice initiative.
The release included details of the outside money being contributed by certain philanthropy outfits to address pandemic-related issues, mental health initiatives, tutoring, as well as equity and teacher diversity:
$17 million investment from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for high-impact tutoring. The Gates Foundation is investing $17 million over the next four years (2022-2025) to foster learning acceleration through high-impact tutoring, building out tools and resources so state and district leaders can more easily identify, select, and implement evidence-based tutoring programs.
$14.4 million in grants from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation throughout 2022 to support afterschool across the country. Funding priorities include $7.5 million to support the 50 State Afterschool Network to ensure effective implementation of ARP funds; nearly $2 million to support increased capacity for statewide afterschool networks to reach out to local districts that need help implementing afterschool programs using ARP funds; over $2 million to support Mizzen, an innovative online tool that delivers high-quality content for afterschool programming; and $2.4 million to support the Afterschool Alliance, among other priorities.
$10 million investment from the Raikes Foundation to support organizations aimed at accelerating learning and expanding access to mental health supports. Raikes is investing to support the BELE Network, the Resource Equity Funders Collaborative focused on addressing inequities made worse by the pandemic, the Science of Learning and Development Alliance, and other organizations helping school districts to see, understand, and deploy resources to meet the unique needs of all students.
Over $9 million investment from the Stuart Foundation to support summer learning, learning recovery, educator workforce, and mental health initiatives. The Stuart Foundation has committed over $9 million to organizations that provide technical assistance to school districts in effectively utilizing ARP funds, implement and support the development of new community schools, and invest in student, family and community engagement to ensure students have the academic, summer, and mental health supports they need to recover.
$9 million investment from Overdeck Family Foundation to accelerate students’ academic recovery and address the teacher shortage. The Foundation invested over $7 million in grants to organizations to help students recover academically from the pandemic and $2 million in grants to help increase teacher retention efforts by scaling programs that are successful in retaining effective teachers, promote teacher diversity, and differentiate teacher roles.
$4.25 million investment from the William + Flora Hewlett Foundation to provide support and technical assistance to districts on how to effectively use ARP funds and sustain recovery efforts beyond the life of ARP. The Hewlett Foundation plans to invest $1.25 million to help districts plan on how to use ARP funds, over $2 million to stand up an Improvement Network focused on recovery and evaluating the impact of various recovery strategies, and $1 million to provide tools to districts to help them analyze and implement effective recovery strategies, among other investments.
$240,000 investment from the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation to support projects to address the impacts of the pandemic on children, students and educators, and address inequities made worse by the pandemic. The Stone Foundation is investing tens of thousands of dollars in efforts to address the teacher shortage through bonuses and scholarships, improve access to mental health services for young men and boys of color, and create pathways for early childhood educators to access degrees and higher wages.
Additionally, the USED press release says that they will invest “an additional $160 million through the Education Innovation and Research Grant Program to assist with the impact of the pandemic on students and schools.”
According to the release, the focus of this year’s Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program will be on “projects that develop, implement, replicate, and scaleup strategies to support learning recovery and student well-being related to the impact of COVID-19, including projects that address accelerated learning.”
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