Rep. Leger Fernandez proposes $75 billion for at-risk students | KOB 4

Rep. Leger Fernandez proposes $75 billion for at-risk students

Patrick Hayes
Created: January 30, 2021 11:06 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Lawmakers in Washington are proposing a $75 billion plan to help students recover some of the learning they lost during the pandemic.

“We must make sure that Covid doesn’t worsen the education divide,” said U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez.

In New Mexico, public schools were forced to close their doors in March because of the pandemic. Since then, some districts have reopened to younger students in small groups or in a hybrid model.

Recently, the state said districts can bring all grades back for in-person learning as long as they meet certain requirements and stay in a hybrid model.

But lawmakers are worried that the damage is already done when it comes to education.

“The studies have shown that for all students there’s going to be a learning loss,” said Leger Fernandez.

According to Leger Fernandez, Latino, Native American and Black students are the most in danger of missing out on school. That’s why she’s sponsoring the Learning Recovery Act.

If approved, the bill would send $75 billion to Title I schools across the country including New Mexico to pay for extended school days or summer school.

“The Biden proposal is that we spend $130 billion in K-12 education so we are saying of that $130 billion, let’s spend $75 billion on those schools that are most at risk,” Leger Fernandez said.

In 2018, the state reported that more than 75% of schools received Title I funding.

The bill, if approved, would also let states set aside money for technical assistance and require schools that do receive funds write out a plan on how to reduce ‘unfinished learning.’

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