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Gov. Hogan Adds $20.7 In COVID-19 Relief Funding For Schools, Community Colleges To Help Get Students Back Into Classrooms

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced an additional $20.7 million in education relief funding to help get students back into classrooms amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The grants would help k-12 schools, community colleges, independent colleges and schools for the deaf and blind.

"In addition to proposing a budget that funds education across the board at record levels, we are working to get federal COVID-19 relief funding out to schools and colleges as quickly as possible," said Hogan said. "We are prioritizing this relief funding where it can do the most good for the most students."

This is in addition to the $7.5 million for k-12 schools Hogan announced last week as a part of the proposed fiscal year 2022 budget. The funding is through the the federal COVID-19 relief bill.

Here's a breakdown of the funding, according to the press release:

Competitive Innovation Grants: $10 million

Competitive Innovation Grants will be awarded to educational institutions that present a unique or innovative approach to engage students, teachers, and school communities while working to address academic accessibility as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects can focus on implementing unique ideas at an individual school, feeder system of schools, or school system. Priority will be given to programs that address at-risk students. In this round of funding, schools that are eligible will receive $1 million in grants. A total of $1.2 billion in federal funding has been made available to county school systems to address the effects of the pandemic and support the safe reopening of schools.

Community College Workforce Development Programs: $7.4 million

The governor is directing these funds to be utilized to immediately expand existing training and educational programs in locally relevant sectors and to develop new in-demand training programs. Funds will also be utilized to market these programs to employers and prospective students, including recently unemployed Marylanders. The governor's FY 2022 recovery budget includes record funding for community colleges, which have seen a 57% increase in state funding during the Hogan administration.

Independent Colleges: $2.6 million

The governor is awarding $200,000 per school to help address additional institutional costs resulting from the pandemic.

School for the Deaf ($479,094), School for the Blind ($253,354)

The governor is directing the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to provide grants to the Maryland School for the Blind and the Maryland School for the Deaf. The funds will be used to purchase devices, including assistive technology and adaptive equipment for staff and students, implementing appropriate security tools, and providing professional development. MSDE anticipates distributing funds on a per-pupil basis.

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