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Maryland State Department of Education’s Plan for ARP Funds to Support K-12 Schools and Students Approved

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

CONTACT:  Lora Rakowski, 410-767-0486
lora.rakowski@maryland.gov

Maryland State Department of Education’s Plan for ARP Funds
to Support K-12 Schools and Students Approved

U.S. Department of Education Distributes Remaining 
$651+Million to State

BALTIMORE, MD (October 15, 2021) –  The Maryland State Department of Education announced that it will continue its work to accelerate student achievement and support social and emotional health with the U.S. Department of Education (Department)’s approval of the State’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) plan and disbursement of  remaining ARP ESSER funds.

The U.S. Department of Education allocated an approximate $1.95 billion in ARP ESSER funds to Maryland and local school systems to meet the urgent needs of schools and students in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Given our strong return to full-time, in-person instruction, these funds are critical in maintaining safe and meaningful learning environments for every Maryland student,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “With our students back in the classroom, the remainder of these ARP ESSER funds will provide the needed resources for our schools to not only recover from the pandemic, but come back stronger.”

“Our mission to build a bright future for every student requires us to go bold as education leaders. The approval of Maryland’s American Rescue Plan enables us to do just that. With this federal distribution we can truly be innovative in our approach to accelerating student achievement, supporting mental, social, and emotional health, and addressing disrupted education,” said State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury. “We are seizing this moment to ensure that every Maryland student has access to excellent educational opportunities and strong outcomes. We will not accept a return to normal, because normal was not good enough, especially for those who have been historically underserved.”

The ARP ESSER required State and Local School Systems to incorporate wide-ranging community input in the development of strategic plans for supporting students, schools, and school communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each state was required to submit a state plan which promoted comprehensive planning by states and LSSs for the effective use of ARP ESSER funds to reopen schools safely beginning in spring 2021; support sustained access to in-person instruction throughout the spring, summer, and into next school year; and to address the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of students.

Maryland’s plan addresses:

  • Accelerating student re-engagement: MSDE is focusing on the return to in-person instruction for all students in the 2021-2022 school year along with necessary supports, especially in the areas of technology and broadband access and outreach, to ensure that students and parents and families remain engaged. MSDE will implement acceleration strategies that support students by providing more time in class, more dedicated attention in class, and exposure to grade-level learning. Most school systems are using a tiered approach to support all students, offering varying levels of support to students based on identified need.

  • Supporting mental and social-emotional health: MSDE is emphasizing the mental health and social-emotional learning (SEL) needs of students, particularly among underserved students most affected by remote learning. MSDE will invest $10 million of the ARP ESSER funds for regional Maryland School Mental Health Response Program teams, and $3.2 million to address adverse childhood experiences.

  • Addressing the impact of disrupted instruction: MSDE will implement evidence-based strategies to lessen the impact of disrupted instruction on student learning that has occurred over the past 15 months, and support local school systems as they do the same.

  • Students most impacted: The MSDE Task Force on Achieving Academic Equity and Excellence for Black Boys (AAEEBB) has developed several evidence-based recommendations to address the inequities experienced by Black boys across the state. Grant funding will be allocated to districts to implement the recommendations of the task force’s report, focusing on: 1) social-emotional and behavioral supports; 2) recruitment and training of effective teachers and administrators; and 3) curricula and instruction. Examples of evidence-based recommendations include: de-escalation and intervention training for all school staff, providing financial incentives to recruit and retain diverse teachers and administrators, and coordinating structured mentoring programs.

Maryland’s ARP ESSER Plan is available here: http://marylandpublicschools.org/about/Documents/ARP-ESSER/ARP_ESSER_StatePlan.pdf

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds are available to states and local school systems through September 30, 2024.

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