Over the last two weeks, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) has awarded four additional American Rescue Plan Grants to local government and education organizations to further assist schools, communities, and students.

This is in addition to five earlier American Rescue Plan grants released in May for similar reasons.

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The first grant was $5.1 million to support career development efforts at Jobs for Arizona Graduates ($2 million,) Junior Achievement ($2 million,) and the Arizona Business Education Coalition ($1 million.)

Arizona Superintendent of Instruction Kathy Hoffman posted on this grant:

In a press release issued by the Arizona Department of Education, Superintendent Hoffman relayed:

“Our students have big dreams, and they should have resources to gain the skills necessary to make them a reality. Our schools are committed to the future of our state, and these investments will help grow a sustainable pipeline for industries across our state.”

The second grant was a $10 million award to WestEd and its English Language Learners Program. Posting on social media, Superintendent Hoffman stated:

In a press release from ADE, Ms. Hoffman wrote:

“Our state’s ability to thrive is dependent on every child receiving a quality education. We are confident through their experience working with educators, coupled with research-backed approaches, WestEd will be able to train teachers in highly effective practices for our state’s English language learning students.”

The third grant, announced just after Memorial Day this week, focused on helping rural communities across the Grand Canyon State with $7.3 million going to the ASU Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and $6 million to the Arizona Student Opportunity Collaborative. These grants will hopefully assist rural communities recruit educators and support staff.

On this grant, Superintendent Hoffman posted:

In the ADE press release, she offered:

“Our schools have felt the impact of funding shortages, which often means rural schools have struggled to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers. Our rural schools need special attention when it comes to addressing this crisis, and my administration is committed to ensuring that all students have the resources and support they need to succeed.”

The final grant (totaling $15.3 million,) targeted toward helping low income and first generation students, will allocate $10 million to Access ASU, $3 million to the Boys and Girls Club of Arizona, and $2.3 million to the Higher Ground Resource Center (for SMART community schools in the Tucson area.)

Posting on social media, Superintendent Hoffman stated:

In the ADE press release from earlier today, she commented:

“Parents deserve easy access to resources that help their children achieve their full potential. I know students and parents need more direct support when it comes to educational services outside of the classroom. These organizations are well prepared to support students and families and will help foster higher student achievement.”

With Republicans in the Arizona State Legislature devoting time to unproductive and contemptible activities like scheduling a hearing to watch a right wing film called “2000 Mules”  espousing the big lie of the 2020 election, it is gratifying to know that the Department of Education and its leaders have not lost sight of the urgent needs of the public schools they serve and are continually looking for solutions to move them forward and lift all children up.

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