February 2, 2021

State Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams Excited as Nearly $500 Million in Federal Emergency Relief Funds Released in Effort to Reduce Educational Disparities, Including $14.4 Million in Local Funds

HARTFORD, CT –State Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams (D-Meriden, Middlefield, Rockfall, Middletown, Cheshire) said she is excited to see the release of $492.43 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds throughout Connecticut, including a total of $14.4 million in funds for schools in the her district. This funding is dedicated to targeting and reducing educational disparities that have been further exacerbated due to the pandemic, with possible uses including additional classroom supports, intensive tutoring and enhanced summer school programming. In district, Meriden received $10,576,294, Middletown received $3,204,786, Cheshire $439,559 and Regional School District 13 (Middlefield/Rockfall) $194,700.

“So much has been asked of our students and educators during this difficult time that has laid bare the disparities that exist within the education system,” said Sen. Daugherty Abrams. “I am elated to see these funds go to schools in our community, as they will offer a measure of vital support for our schools as they continue to navigate the unprecedented challenges caused, or made worse, by the pandemic. I express my gratitude to the Connecticut federal delegation for their contributions in getting these much-needed funds to our schools.”

Connecticut received $492.43 million in funding in the latest allotment, increasing total Emergency Relief Funds received to just over $600 million. Part of the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 90 percent of the funding will be allocated to municipal education groups, while a remaining 10 percent will be used for state-level activities.

Approved uses of the funds include coordinating improved COVID-19 response, prevention and preparation efforts; addressing learning loss among students, including groups seen to experience increased learning loss such as low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness and children and youth in foster care; addressing individual schools’ needs; improving sanitation on school campuses; and improving indoor air quality in schools while reducing risk of environmental health hazards, among others.