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News Release - State Board of Education to focus federal education funding on strategies to accelerate learning

Aug. 24, 2021

State Board of Education to focus federal education funding on strategies to accelerate learning 

DENVER -- Programs that can effectively accelerate learning for students most impacted by the pandemic will be the focus of the state’s investment of $132 million in federal COVID-relief funding set aside for state-level activities. 

The State Board of Education today approved the department’s proposal to invest state-level Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief funding on strategies that support academic acceleration, expand learning opportunities in both the traditional school day and beyond, and strengthen state capacity to support districts and schools. Specific funding priorities will focus on math and literacy for students in grades K-8.

Colorado's plan for state-level ESSER funding includes:

  • $30 million to support high-dosage tutoring, summer school, as well as before- and after-school programs,
  • $25 million for high risk students, tribal nations and special education students, 
  • $10 million to $12 million for high-quality instruction materials,
  • $15 million for Career and Technical education,
  • $7 million to $10 million in state infrastructure for data collection, grant management and program evaluation, and 
  • $5 million for educator professional development.

Visit CDE’s website to see the full proposal, which was developed after the department gathered feedback from educators, students, parents and community members as well as school and district leaders and other education stakeholders on how the state should invest federal COVID-relief funds for education. 

“After hearing from parents, educators, students and other stakeholders from across the state and seeing the results of our statewide assessments, we know it is absolutely critical to use our state-level dollars in ways that will magnify the effectiveness of strategies to accelerate learning,” said Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “If we just go back to doing things the way they were before the pandemic, it will take too long to recover from the lost learning opportunities over the last year.”

CDE will finalize the proposal for spending state-level ESSER funding and submit the plan to the U.S. Department of Education by Tuesday, Aug. 31.