More than $1 billion in federal relief money went to Kansas schools; new numbers demonstrate how it’s being spent

More than $1 billion in federal relief money went to Kansas schools; new numbers demonstrate how it’s being spent

“We’re talking about having a good process, executing that process, using the money from the federal government gives us for the pandemic to really try to reach out and form better partnerships, and help those kids learn,” Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson said.

Kansas schools got about $1.4 billion in government relief money. On Tuesday, Kansas school board individuals casted a ballot to apportion generally $15 million to go to school districts for training teachers in literacy and math, two regions that confronted significant misfortunes during the pandemic. Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson conveyed a yearly report, showing the most recent quantities of what the pandemic has meant for Kansas schools. Education authorities have highlighted learning misfortune as a significant issue in schools, particularly as students and teachers struggled to adjust to remote learning last year. Watson told FOX4’s Kansas Capitol Bureau the state is attempting to figure out how to resolve the issue.

Watson delivered an annual report that pointed to learning loss especially as students and teachers struggled to adjust to remote learning. The numbers showed significant changes in enrollment, absences and test-taking.

According to the state’s figures, about 476,435 students are enrolled in K-12 schools in the state. However, it is down by about 15,000 students compared to before the pandemic. Education officials noted it could be due to more students enrolling in virtual schools or homeschooling.

The numbers also showed increased rates of chronic absenteeism, especially among marginalized populations. About 17.54% of students have missed school for more than 10 days at a time. From 2019 to 2021, there was a nearly 4% increase. A spokesperson for the state’s education department said they had not identified the reason behind the trend.

Another figure showed parents who refused to let their child take a state exam more than doubled now sitting at 1,964.

Watson compared the pandemic to a “storm” during his speech and said the impact of the pandemic would be looked into years down the line.

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