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Students wait in line to enter a New York City public high school in New York. Photo: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The number of students signing up for summer school is expected to be greater than ever before, with the Biden administration requiring states to devote some of the federal pandemic relief packages to these programs, the Associated Press reports.

The big picture: Families are enrolling their children in academic-focused summer programs to catch up and stay on track after the last 18 months.

  • Some educators are concerned with their school districts' abilities to cater to the growing student participation.
  • Though the Department of Education has said it is too early to know how many students will sign up, the number is more than likely to exceed the 3.3 million who went to summer school in 2019, per AP.
  • In Montgomery, Ala., more than 12,000 of the school system’s 28,000 students signed up before the June 1 deadline. Typically about 2,500 attend summer school.

What they're saying: "It’s an understatement to say the needs are greater this year,” said Kalman Hettleman, an education policy analyst in Maryland.

  • “It’s not realistic to think that summer school, no matter how good and intense, will close all the gaps because many of these kids had gaps before the pandemic,” Hettleman added. “But it will help, and it will at least give them a fighting chance if there are intense interventions during the regular school year.”
  • “I learn better in school than online. Being in a classroom where a teacher is present is so much better than waiting hours for an email back from your teacher,” Taylor Dennington told the wire service.

Go deeper

Jun 6, 2021 - World

U.S. donating COVID vaccines to Taiwan amid reports China blocking doses

Sen. Tammy Duckworth outside the U.S. Capitol last Tuesday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The U.S. will donate 750,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) announced after arriving in the capital, Taipei, on a bipartisan congressional visit Sunday.

Why it matters: The island state is facing spiking coronavirus cases, and officials say their efforts to obtain vaccines are being impeded by China's government, which considers Taiwan to be part of its territory.

United to require new staff to show proof of COVID vaccine

Photo: Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for CLEAR

United Airlines will from June 15 require all new hires based in the U.S. to show confirmation that they've been vaccinated against COVID-19, CNBC first reported Saturday.

The big picture: United is the second major U.S. airline after Delta to require new staff to have the vaccine. "As we welcome new employees to the company, it's important we instill in them United’s strong commitment to safety," United said in a note to staff also shared with Axios.

Go deeper: United CEO is confident people will feel safe traveling again by 2022

States rebound with big budgets

People gather at Bryant Park in New York as the city reopens. Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just over a year from the start of the pandemic and its economic slump, many states have recovered financially and are enjoying booming budgets, reports the Associated Press.

Why it matters: Surpluses in the state coffers means that states are reinvesting in "schools, social programs and infrastructure" while also putting "billions of dollars in savings," according to AP.