Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that $50 million through the CARES Act for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) Fund is now available for K-12 schools and Higher Education. Approximately $35 million will be made available to the Louisiana Dept. of Education and $15 million to the Board of Regents.
“The GEER Funds will enable Louisiana to begin addressing a huge gap in the delivery of instruction that was exposed when schools had to end on campus instruction earlier this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Edwards. “When I learned these dollars were included in the CARES Act, I sought input from stakeholders (K-12, higher education and legislators) in order to use the funds in the wisest and most impactful way possible. It was quickly apparent that addressing personal education device needs and connectivity were the two critical areas as distance learning is now becoming a neccesary component in the education of our students. These dollars will not completely solve the digital divide but they will be a huge step in the right direction. Also, as our students learn to adjust to new learning environments, their well-being will be supported by a social and emotional learning component, which is equally important to their education.”
Under the GEER Fund, the U.S. Department of Education awards grants to governors for the purpose of providing local educational agencies (LEAs), institutions of higher education (IHEs), and other education related entities with emergency assistance as a result of the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Distribution of the $50 million:
“I’m thankful to work with Governor Edwards to push these funds directly to local systems,” said Education Superintendent. Cade Brumley. “This will further our efforts to ensure every Louisiana student has the technology they need to be successful.”
Allocation of the $15 million in GEER Funding for Higher Education is as follows:
“By targeting GEER Funds for higher education in two priority areas the Governor is accelerating economic recovery in Louisiana,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed. “Training residents for today’s in-demand jobs is critical and our community colleges are ready to deliver. Supporting the faculty training and student devices needed for postsecondary remote learning at scale sends a message that we recognize that these are required tools for student success. Higher education is grateful for this support and we’re all in when it comes to driving this recovery.”