ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Governor Brian Kemp today announced Governors Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funding, set aside by the CARES Act, to support initiatives across all levels of education in Georgia.
“From Day One of my administration, I have made it clear that we will always work to keep Georgia’s students, teachers, and administrators top of mind as we address educational needs in our state,” said Governor Kemp. “With the allocation of these funds, we are building on that promise – from K-12 classrooms, to our university campuses. This GEER funding will support broadband and connectivity extensions, mental health services, workforce training, childcare, and tech innovation as instructors move to online learning in an unprecedented educational landscape due to COVID-19. These are challenging times for our state, but we will continue to work around the clock to support our students and teachers, improve outcomes, and get people back to work. Together, we will protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”
Supporting Student Connectivity – $29.3 million
Georgia will allocate $29.3 million to provide school districts with more options to connect students to the internet this academic year by ensuring all of Georgia’s 2,300 schools have broadband signal extenders from school buildings, and expanding learning environments to support on-campus, socially distanced learning. Options may also be available for transmitting mobile WiFi signals to students who live in multi-family housing.
Mental Health and Student Support Services – $11.5 million
Georgia will allocate $11.5 million in funds to support mental health and student support services within the University System of Georgia.
eCampus Initiative for Technical College System of Georgia – $10.4 million
The Technical College System of Georgia will receive $10.4 million to support its eCampus initiative, a program to provide in-demand online courses and programs to students throughout Georgia while minimizing time and expense.
Georgia Independent College Association COVID-19 Relief – $10 million
The Georgia Independent College Association, which includes Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), will receive $10 million in funds to support relief efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bolstering the “Construction Ready” Program – $3.3 million
The Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) will receive $3.3 million to expand its “Construction Ready” program to take Georgia residents from no experience to a construction career in 25 days through a boot-camp-style training, credentialing, and placement program.
Department of Early Care and Learning SOLVE Program – $17-19 million
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) will receive between $17 and $19 million to implement the Supporting Onsite Learning for Virtual Education (SOLVE) program to provide additional childcare options for students ages 5-12 whose school systems have opted for virtual learning. This funding will allow parents who need to return to work to have a secure option for their child, ensuring they are under professional care in a safe environment. DECAL will administer these funds through the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program to subsidize the cost of childcare for low income families.
The funds outlined above are the initial allocation of $105 million in CARES Act funding designated as Governors Emergency Education Relief (GEER).