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MADISON – Gov. Evers today announced that 155 local education agencies (LEAs) are eligible to apply for the $46.6 million provided to Wisconsin through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER Fund), established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The announcement comes as last month the governor announced more than $80 million in financial assistance for K-12 schools and higher education.
“It’s vital to ensure the schools across Wisconsin that are most significantly impacted by COVID-19 have the additional resources they need as they make decisions about how students will learn in the upcoming school year and beyond,” said Gov. Evers. “This funding stream will help support students, teachers, and parents who are navigating uncertainty in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Based on recommendations from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and in consultation with State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor, the governor outlined eligibility criteria for schools most significantly impacted by COVID-19 based on economic disadvantage, access to personal computing devices, access to internet, and students’ score on the English Language Arts Assessment. Wisconsin’s three tribal schools will also receive the same per pupil payment as the 155 LEAs. The GEER Fund is in addition to the $174.8 million that Wisconsin received through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund).
“I appreciate Governor Evers’ acknowledgement of impacts of COVID-19 and the costs incurred by public schools as they plan for a safe and equitable return to school,” State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor said. “The DPI remains focused on working collaboratively to provide school districts with necessary supports.”
In collaboration with the Governor’s Office, the DPI will provide additional information about applying for the funds.