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GEER II funds allotted for classroom cash, mental health

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jan. 11, 2022 - 4:28 PM

GEER II funds allotted for classroom cash, mental health


A $125 classroom grant for each Georgia K-12 teacher and parapro, as well as and $6 million for student mental health needs are among round one allotments for the second installment of the Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced the recipients Monday. In total, GEER will distribute more than $47 million in additional emergency assistance to support K-12 and higher education entities as they continue to address the disruptions and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we work to meet the needs of students, parents, and teachers by maintaining in-person learning, we know that our schools and education support organizations will need additional help,” Kemp said. “We also know our education providers play a critical role in providing the workforce needed to combat the health and economic effects of the pandemic. This round of funding is geared toward the goal of keeping our kids in the classroom with minimal disruption to their education while strengthening that classroom-to-workforce pipeline.

“By working around the clock, we have weathered the difficulties presented by COVID-19 for almost three school years,” he added “With this new round of support, we will help get our educators and students across the finish line of the pandemic.”

How the money will be used:

Classroom Grants — $15.4 million

All K-12 teachers and paraprofessionals will receive $125 to be used for classroom expenses. The Department of Early Care and Learning will also be prepared to leverage federal funds for birth-to-age-5 teachers and paraprofessionals to complement this decision, the governor said.

Teacher Pipeline — $1.3 million

The Georgia Math & Reading Corps program in Southwest Georgia will receive $789,730 for expansion. This is an existing program that helps high-need students unlock their potential through evidence-based and data-driven tutoring. The funding will help improve student achievement and recruit tutors – specifically in rural Georgia – for everyday instruction.

Another $517,575 in funds will be provided to the Georgia Southern University Research and Service Foundation. This support will help expand Georgia’s teacher pipeline and accelerate students in literacy by providing college tutors for reading instruction to K-5 students, promote reading and writing activities, help future teachers obtain field experience, and develop best practices for integrating tutoring support throughout the school day.

Student Mental Health Needs — $6 million

The mental health initiative funded through GEER I will be extended through July 2023 with $5.5 million additional funds. This will provide postsecondary students more access to mental health resources and additional professional development opportunities for faculty.

Another $510,410 is earmarked for Trauma Informed Care Calm Down Stations and TIC calm down kits for individual families around the state, in support of wraparound services through local YMCAs.

Education-to-Workforce Pipeline for Healthcare – $3.1 million

These funds will support the need for more nurses and additional training with a special emphasis on expanding educational opportunities to more areas of the state and providing hands-on learning experiences. They will be distributed as follows:

• Georgia Southwestern State — $866,723

• Fort Valley State — $1,320,150

• Middle Georgia State — $900,000

PCOM Medicine Project (Moultrie Campus) — $820,202

To engage students early in their learning career and inspire an interest in the field of medicine, funds will be provided to build partnerships between K-12 school systems and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. This support will also provide technology upgrades and means-tested aid for student housing issues.

Education-to-Workforce Pipeline for Commercial Drivers — $8.32 million

Funds will be directed toward filling the critical need for more commercial drivers and workforce training opportunities, further addressing the supply chain issues impacting the state and country.

They will be distributed as follows:

• Savannah Technical College — $1,990,000 for driving pad and trailers

• Georgia Piedmont Technical College — $2,000,000 for driving range and pad, and trailers

• Oconee Fall Line Technical College — $1,150,000 for driving pad and simulators

• Columbus Technical College — $1,770,000 for driving pad, mobile classroom, trailers, and simulators

• Southern Crescent Technical College — $1,132,500 for driving range and pad resurfacing, mobile classroom, and trailers

• Southeastern Technical College — $275,000 for driving range and pad resurfacing

Improving Outcomes for Students with Dyslexia — $4.7million

Building on the foundation of SB 48 (2019), funds will be provided for a dyslexia screening and intervention tool for K-3 students. These funds will also be utilized to provide personalized reading instruction based on results, giving teachers another resource to help students succeed in reading. This project will impact 60,000 K-3 students in 14 different school districts.

Rock Eagle 4-H Center — $2.2 million

Many of Georgia’s families benefit from visiting Rock Eagle, a crucial institution for hands-on learning experiences focused on agricultural and environmental information, leadership, communication skills, food and nutrition, health, energy conservation, and citizenship. These funds will support vitally needed improvements to the facility to increase safety and expand learning experience opportunities.

Charter School Growth Initiative — $4.1 million

Charter schools provide parents with options to choose the best learning environment for their children. Funds will support the creation and replication of 10 new, high-quality charter schools in underserved communities. The funds will be utilized for start-up costs, networking opportunities, long-term planning support and other purposes.

STEM Education — $1 million

Funds will be directed to Georgia Youth Science & Technology Centers, Inc. to strengthen STEM learning with real-world information from industries in the state. Programming will focus on afterschool enrichment options, family science events, and providing technology to students. Counties that will benefit from these funds include Baker, Clay, Glascock, Hancock, Lincoln and Warren.

Georgia Music Education Grants — $200,000

Funds will be provided to schools and nonprofits across the state for music-related educational instruction, enriching the learning experience.