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How Biden administration’s $130 Billion plan for schools could impact Southern Colorado

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The new Biden administration is proposing $130 billion in COVID-19 relief funding for K-12 schools.

It's part of the wider $1.9 trillion 'American Rescue Plan,' unveiled by the President earlier this month, which aims to boost economic recovery.

At least $130 billion would be allocated to help public elementary, middle and high schools.

"This has really been, I think the word that comes to my mind is, it’s just been a practice in patience," Allison Cortez said, with Academy District 20.

The school district is one of several in Southern Colorado, currently transitioning students back to the classroom. Cortez said the biggest issues students face now are learning gaps caused by the pandemic.

"What we’re seeing now is, there are definite learning gaps or learning loss that have happened due to the pandemic."

If approved by Congress, districts would be able to use the proposed funding to support in-person learning through reduced class sizes, modify space to allow for more social distancing, improve building ventilation and provide additional personal protective equipment, among other things.

The plan would also allow districts to hire additional staff, increase transportation capacity to allow for more social distancing on buses, and provide resources to help meet students' academic and mental health needs.

"Definitely need more support around social, emotional, mental health, right? And how do we fix those learning gaps? Because even if we get kids back into the classroom tomorrow, the learning gaps aren’t going to disappear."

In addition, schools could seek reimbursements for COVID related expenses through FEMA Disaster Relief Funds.

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Jen Moynihan

Jen Moynihan is a weekend anchor and reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Jen here.

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