Rick Lopes

State Senator

Rick Lopes

Deputy Majority Leader

Fighting For You

February 3, 2021

Senator Lopes says the Over $24 Million in Emergency Relief Funds is an Important Step in Reducing Educational Disparities in Local Schools

Today, State Senator Rick Lopes (D-New Britain) said that the release of $492.43 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds throughout Connecticut, including over $24 million in funds for New Britain, Berlin, and Farmington schools was vital in ensuring that our schools have sufficient resources amid the Covid crisis.

That funding is dedicated to targeting and reducing educational disparities among students that have been further exacerbated from the pandemic, with possible uses including additional classroom supports, intensive tutoring and enhanced summer school programming.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted students across Connecticut, especially those who are facing housing insecurity or have limited internet access,” said Sen. Lopes. “These relief funds will provide students with needed support and give schools resources to close gaps in educational opportunity the pandemic has widened. Thank you to the Connecticut federal delegation for securing this funding and advocacy for the needs of our state’s future leaders and innovators.”

In the 6th Senate District, New Britain schools received $22,902,450; Berlin schools received $641,868; and Farmington schools received $1,019,624.

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.

Sen. Lopes represents New Britain, Berlin, and parts of Farmington. He is a small business owner and former housing coordinator for the Middletown Chapter of the American Red Cross, with a Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) from UConn. He is the Co-Chair of the Housing Committee and Vice Chair of the Aging Committee.