On July 8 Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that $50 million through the CARES Act for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) Fund is now available for K-12 schools and Higher Education. Approximately $35 million will be made available to the Louisiana Dept. of Education and $15 million to the Board of Regents.
“The GEER Funds will enable Louisiana to begin addressing a huge gap in the delivery of instruction that was exposed when schools had to end on campus instruction earlier this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Edwards. “When I learned these dollars were included in the CARES Act, I sought input from stakeholders (K-12, higher education and legislators) to use the funds in the wisest and most impactful way possible. It was quickly apparent that addressing personal education device needs and connectivity were the two critical areas as distance learning is now becoming a necessary component in the education of our students. These dollars will not completely solve the digital divide, but they will be a huge step in the right direction. Also, as our students learn to adjust to new learning environments, their well-being will be supported by a social and emotional learning component, which is equally important to their education.”
Under the GEER Fund, the U.S. Department of Education awards grants to governors for the purpose of providing local educational agencies (LEAs), institutions of higher education (IHEs), and other education related entities with emergency assistance as a result of the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).