S.C. receives $15M Rethink K-12 Education grant

Updated: Jul. 30, 2020 at 11:20 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina has received over $15 million in funding for the Rethink K-12 Education Models Grant, state education leaders announced.

According to a press release from the S.C. Department of Education, the approximately $15,049,608 is from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

“The emergency remote learning that took place as a result of COVID-19 school closures brought to light disparities in our school communities that made student learning difficult in the pandemic environment,” said state superintendent Molly Spearman. “The Rethink K-12 grant will allow our state to address and overcome these challenges not only in the upcoming school year but also in the long term.”

Congress set aside 1% of the $30.75 billion allotted to the Education Stabilization Fund through the CARES Act for grants to states with the highest coronavirus burden, the release stated. The U.S. Department of Education announced the Rethink K-12 Education Models grant competition in April 2020, inviting any state educational agency to apply.

The program supports new ways to access education with an emphasis on meeting students' needs during the coronavirus national emergency, according to state education officials. South Carolina's application, titled Return to Learn: Delivery Quality Instruction Virtually Anywhere, once carried out, will: • Increase availability of remote learning resources to students and teachers in areas of S.C. that lack broadband access • Improve education resources for specific, identified gaps by developing and curating engaging, high-quality content • Increase teacher experience, confidence, and proficiency with remote learning technology and resources • Improve communication between families, teachers, and schools to support remote learning

The SCDE is partnering with the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee, South Carolina Educational Television, and private industry to carry out the grant activities, according to the release.

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