Governor Tate Reeves recently announced his priorities to direct a portion of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds to support effective, creative solutions to serve all students. The grants will enable school leaders and education organizations to accelerate innovative learning solutions for Mississippi’s most vulnerable student populations. In addition to grant eligibility for public school districts and charter schools, private elementary and secondary schools are also eligible to apply for the funding.
Governor Reeves’ priorities for Innovative Educational Solutions include:
In addition to providing their students with access to digital devices, school districts and educational organizations can apply for grants to: implement high-quality digital curriculums; train teachers, students and parents on effective online learning; and support the credentialing of teachers in online learning.
In-person learning is important to stem learning loss, especially for students in early grades, students with special needs or those whose parents must work outside the home. To keep students and school personnel safe, funding can be provided to purchase PPE and other supplies to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Schools and education organizations may use funds to provide students with social-emotional support, including access to telehealth and teletherapy services and prioritizing services for students diagnosed with autism and dyslexia.
Additionally, in early October, Governor Reeves released nearly $5.5 million in GEER funding to 24 daycare centers, nonprofit groups, churches and other organizations to educate pre-K students during the pandemic. The largest award went to Waterford.org, an education nonprofit that for several years has been piloting a virtual reading program for pre-kindergarteners in conjunction with Mississippi Head Start. The 16-week educational program will serve 2,500 children from low-income families in areas of the state where literacy scores are low.