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Lamont, lawmakers participate in roundtable discussing American Rescue Plan impact to local schools

“We want to make sure all of our kids are connected to learning wherever they are.”

MERIDEN, Conn. — While most Connecticut Public Schools are on break this week, the halls were buzzing at John Barry Elementary in Meriden. 

Gov.Ned Lamont and Sen. Richard Blumenthal joined education leaders to discuss the impacts of the American Rescue Plan in a roundtable discussion. Connecticut schools are set to receive around $1.1 billion dollars in federal funds to help with an array of various shortfalls – largely accentuated by the pandemic. 

Summer programs will receive funds, so will child care centers and Lamont was quick to focus on the problems with absenteeism in classes across the state as a result of COVID-19. 

“Most of this money is going right to the superintendents, we are going to be able to provide guidance there,” Lamont said.

Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (D-5th district), who was a former Connecticut teacher and Teacher of the Year, said the money will help struggling school districts.

“While this is a massive investment for many districts, it’s only going to get them back to zero. We have to be forward-thinking and think about how we sustain these investments,” said Hayes. 

Charlene Russell-Tucker, the acting Commissioner of Education echoed the sentiments of so many on the roundtable regarding the loss of learning since COVID-19 hit last March. 

“This is a lifeline and critically important,” said Russell-Tucker, “We want to make sure all of our kids are connected to learning wherever they are.” 

Blumenthal noted he expects the $1.1 billion dollars in school funds will begin to be distributed to districts across the state in the next 30 to 60 days.

   

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