Following public feedback, this funding will support critical programs that were not included in the E-12 Education budget as well as targeted support for students who have faced the biggest challenges as a result of the pandemic
[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today announced how Minnesota plans to spend the $132 million in flexible federal education funds the state received as a part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP). This comes after the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) submitted the state plan to the U.S. Department of Education. Minnesota received a total of $1.3 billion for E-12 education under the ARP, 90 percent of which was allocated directly to schools through a federal formula. The $132 million represents the remaining 10 percent.
Thousands of Minnesotans—students, families, educators, and other community members—provided input on the uses for these funds as MDE developed the state plan. Following public feedback, this funding will support critical programs that were not included in the E-12 Education budget like funding for full-service community schools, expanding rigorous coursework, non-exclusionary discipline training, funding for Life Skills/Transition Programs for students receiving special education, and more.
“Minnesota’s students and families faced so many challenges throughout the pandemic and supporting every one of them remains a top priority, especially as we head into the next school year,” said Governor Walz. “This funding allows us to invest in things that did not find agreement in the education budget, but that we know our students need in order get back on track and stay on track in school.”
“As a mom of a soon-to-be third grader, I know how hard this school year was on our students and families,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “We owe it to them to do everything we can to support not only their academic learning recovery, but also their social-emotional and mental health.”
“We know that this pandemic has impacted all Minnesotans differently,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Heather Mueller.“These investments will give every public school in the state resources to build a foundation for supporting the students in their schools that need the most help. With this federal funding, we have an opportunity to change our education system to better meet the needs of each and every student.”
Under the federal law, Minnesota is required to spend most of the $132 million in four areas of focus: learning recovery, after-school programs, summer enrichment and other state activities to support students and schools. A small portion can be used for grant administration.
In the area of learning recovery, MDE will allocate $66 million directly to public schools to support our students using evidence-based strategies. Schools are also encouraged to partner with community organizations to support students.
After School Programs
The $13.2 million dedicated to after-school programs will be allocated to Ignite Afterschool, an organization and network leader with expertise in evidence-based after school programing, for grant distribution. Fifty percent of the funds will be directed to community organizations. The other half of the funds will be directed to culturally specific community organizations to ensure their expertise is recognized and supported.
Another $13.2 million dedicated to summer enrichment will be allocated through grants with 50 percent going to community organizations. The remaining 50 percent will be dedicated to culturally-specific community organizations to ensure students can access programming where they will be represented in their learning and enrichment experiences.
School and State Support
Recognizing the needs of students across the state, MDE has committed funds from the other state activities and grant administration areas to provide systemic supports for students. This $26 million will fund grants to public schools for full-service community schools, expanding rigorous coursework, non-exclusionary discipline training, funding for Life Skills/Transition Programs for students receiving special education, and more. MDE will also provide technical assistance and supports in each of these areas.
The remaining $13.6 million for other state activities and grant administration will be dedicated to build and reinforce systems and structures within MDE to better support students, families and educators, including funding for Ed-Fi to prioritize data disaggregation.