CONNECTICUT, USA — Connecticut plans allocate millions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds toward education programs designed to help make up for learning lost during the pandemic.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday that $10.7 million of Connecticut’s federal pandemic recovery funding will pay for an initiative he’s calling the Learner Engagement and Attendance Program or LEAP, which will be a partnership between the state Department of Education and six regional state Education Service Centers.
“Over the last year, our state has made significant progress in closing digital divides in K-12 education,” Governor Lamont said. “However, the pandemic has continued to create challenges around student attendance and engagement. It is clear that technology and broadband are necessary, but not sufficient, to ensuring our children have the resources they need to succeed during this challenging period. As such, Connecticut is taking another critical step forward with LEAP in keeping our promise of offering a high-quality education to all students.”
Among other things, the program will send educators directly into homes to work with families who have been struggling with absenteeism and remote learning in 15 struggling school districts.
“At the outset of the pandemic, we launched an informative student-level attendance tracking system to strengthen our data-driven approach to addressing the root causes of chronic absenteeism and disengagement,” Acting Commissioner of Education Charlene Russell-Tucker said. “Improving attendance and reaching each and every one of our students require forming strategic partnerships that involve the entire community, establishing systems of support, and focusing resources on the areas of greatest need. LEAP embraces this approach and builds on our ongoing work with educators, families, and community partners to ensure that all of our children are connected with their teachers and their schools."
The 15 school districts participating in the program include:
- The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC);
- East Hartford;
- New Britain;
- New Haven;
- New London;
- Waterbury; and
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