Sep 13, 2022 - News

Gov. Kemp pledges $25 million to fight learning loss

Illustration of a very large pencil filling out a check.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Gov. Brian Kemp will set aside $25 million to help Georgia students catch up after falling behind as a result of the pandemic.

  • Kemp said Monday the Learning Loss Opportunity Scholarship Grant will be included in the amended fiscal year 2023 budget.
  • Schools can apply for grants to boost existing learning loss initiatives, fund additional tutoring programs or hire non-traditional staff members.

What they're saying: Kemp said Monday in a press conference that he wants every child to "reach their full potential and succeed in the classroom."

  • "Because we know that their future, their careers [and] their livelihoods start in buildings just like the one we are visiting today,” he said as he spoke from Dove Creek Elementary School in Oconee County.

By the numbers: According to numbers provided by Kemp, 73% of third-grade students in Georgia were reading at or above grade level in 2019. That number dropped to 63% this year.

Yes, but: Results from the latest Georgia Milestones, which tracks academic performance, show student performance last year stayed the same or improved on 17 of 21 assessments, according to the Georgia Department of Education.

  • The department says an "academic recovery is underway" to reach pre-pandemic levels.

Of note: Kemp also wants to use $15 million to fund a $3,000 grant program to help about 9,000 teaching assistants gain teacher certification and another $25 million for schools to hire counselors.

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