Colorado will receive $44 million through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, a $30.8 billion allotment in the federal CARES Act distributed to states based on the population of school-age children and young adults.
“We are grateful to our federal partners for providing flexible funding that we can utilize to support Colorado students from preschool to higher education, increase capacity in rural areas, and invest in innovative approaches to improving student learning that can be replicated and scaled for years to come,” Gov. Jared Polis said.
The money will go to school districts, schools and higher education institutions, plus the state’s online learning support program. The largest distribution from the fund, $33 million, will go toward education innovation that addresses learning challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state will give priority to proposals arising from rural areas, schools struggling on performance metrics, or that address families suffering disproportionately from the pandemic.
Between $5 million and $6 million will go to Colorado Empowered Learning, the online learning initiative. Over 200 online courses are available for purchase, and core classes cost $135. Three million dollars will be used to recruit teachers in areas that have difficulty finding qualified candidates, and $1 million will go toward financial aid to college and university students not covered under other federal assistance.