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Louisiana Dept. of Education announces funds to help students recover from pandemic education gaps

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 6:05 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - As students walk back into their classrooms this year, their teachers will be focused on making sure they are closing any learning gaps from last year.

LEAP Test scores elude to a gap in learning across the board from the pandemic but it is the state’s youngest learners that has Superintendent Doctor Cade Brumley the most worried.

“This is our third year that has been COVID impacted and foundational skills are built when kids are really young, and we have to make sure we’re taking care of those needs and really investing dollars on those younger grade levels,” Brumley said.

To combat the learning losses for both those children and the older ones, the state is investing $26 million in teacher development, specifically in reading and math. Those were the two hardest-hit areas, according to test scores.

The state is also investing $16 million in student mental health and well-being supports, such as counselors and drop-out early warning systems. It is spending $90 million to provide tutoring vouchers, to fund before and after school programs, and summer learning programs.

“Just having the students there in the building isn’t enough,” he said. “They have to be well, they have to feel well, they have to be in a place to access their learning and feel good about what they’re doing in terms of instruction.”

Brumley said he does not expect to see overnight results, rather he said it will likely take several years to recover from the impacts the pandemic has had on student’s education.

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