US DOE approves Hawaii’s plan to use American Rescue Plan funds to support K-12 schools

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — The US Department of Education has approved Hawaii’s plan to direct American Rescue Plan funds toward providing relief to state Elementary and Secondary schools.

Hawaii is expected to receive more than $274 million of the $81 billion funds distributed to 50 states and the District of Columbia earlier this year. The state says it plans to use the money to support a safe return for students to in-person learning, among other mitigation efforts to combat possible COVID-19 spread in classrooms.

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“I am excited to announce approval of Hawaii’s plan,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The approval of these plans enables states to receive vital, additional American Rescue Plan funds to quickly and safely reopen schools for full-time, in-person learning; meet students’ academic, social, emotional and mental health needs and address disparities in access to educational opportunity that were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.”

For Hawaii, the funds are slated to go toward addressing things like lost instructional time concerns through programs like tutoring, accelerated learning and more after school programs as well as supporting students whose families have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

“The U.S. Department of Education’s continued investment in Hawaii’s public schools throughout the pandemic has provided us with a degree of certainty in very uncertain times. We are committed to using these resources to, in turn, invest in our students and their futures,” added Interim Superintendent Keith T. Hayashi. “Our priorities are centered around our efforts to safely begin the new school year with in-person learning to support the academic, social and emotional needs of our students.”

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