$100M Allocated by New York for Learning Loss and School Mental Health Support

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In a significant move to address the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic on education, fifty school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) across New York State have been granted a total of $100 million. The funding, announced by Governor Kathy Hochul, is dedicated to mitigating pandemic-induced learning loss and providing essential mental health support for students.

Governor Hochul emphasized the historic nature of these investments, designed to ensure that all students in the state are on a trajectory toward success. The allocated funds aim to expand access to evidence-based interventions to counteract learning loss and equip school staff and students with resources to identify and respond to mental health concerns effectively.

The Learning Loss Recover from COVID School Program (RECOVS) Grant has been awarded to fifteen school districts and BOCES across the state. This grant focuses on multiple facets of recovery, including expanding student access to academic recovery professionals, improving the capacity of school staff and students to identify learning loss, implementing evidence-based school-based learning loss and academic recovery practices, and ensuring financial stability for school-based academic recovery opportunities.

In Central New York, several school districts have received allocations from the Learning Loss RECOVS grant. The Clyde-Savannah Central School District secured $1,188,000, Lyons Central School District received $1,373,141, Sodus Central School District obtained $1,308,000, Solvay Union Free School District was awarded $1,187,298, and the Syracuse City School District received a substantial $5 million.

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Additionally, forty school districts and BOCES have been recipients of the Mental Health RECOVS grant. This grant aims to enhance and support practices that promote mental health and wellness, build the capacity of staff and students to identify mental health concerns, increase help-seeking behaviors, and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among students.

Several Central New York school districts have been awarded grants under the Mental Health RECOVS initiative:

  1. Auburn Enlarged City School District: $828,421
  2. Baldwinsville Central School District: $568,022
  3. Dryden Central School District: $231,820
  4. Iroquois Central School District: $200,000
  5. Liverpool Central School District: $3,925,110
  6. Lyons Central School District: $1,368,357
  7. Moravia Central School District: $360,880
  8. Oneida City School District: $1,000,000
  9. Syracuse City School District: $5,000,000

Governor Hochul, in her commitment to supporting education, has proposed a total School Aid of $35.3 billion for the fiscal year, marking the highest amount in the history of New York State. The FY 2024 Budget had already allocated a historic $34.5 billion to New York’s schools to provide every student with the tools needed for a high-quality education.

In her recent State of the State address, Governor Hochul outlined measures aimed at expanding access to services for children, youth, and families. The proposals include establishing school-based mental health clinics for interested schools, legislation to limit harmful social media features affecting young people, the introduction of new Youth Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams, and the expansion of loan repayment programs for children’s mental health practitioners.

The infusion of funds into these critical initiatives signals a comprehensive approach to addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by the pandemic on education. As New York continues to prioritize the well-being and educational success of its students, these grants represent a crucial step towards rebuilding and fortifying the education system for a brighter future.

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