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MDE Seeks Public Input on Prioritizing Federal Funds for School Restart and Recovery

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) is seeking public input to help the state prioritize the use of funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act provides one-time relief funds to respond to the impact of school closures due to COVID-19 and to assist schools with their restart and recovery plans.

There are many layers of considerations that go into how and when school buildings will reopen. The MDE is working to create guidance for local districts on the following topics:

  • Summer transition

  • Instructional materials

  • Diagnostic assessments

  • Support to at-risk students and other vulnerable populations

  • Building cleaning and infrastructure

  • School meals, wraparound supports, conditions for learning

  • Communication and family engagement

The MDE is collecting public input through the MDE CARES Act Public Survey through June 1, 2020.

The survey questions will help the state prioritize the use of federal CARES Act funds. The MDE will prioritize local needs as well as potential investments and supports that could be offered to local school districts. That includes gaining insight and input from all stakeholders to draft a strong plan for restart and recovery initiatives. The MDE’s goal is to help schools and districts continue instruction and critical services that all students deserve.

“I ask everyone invested in our schools to participate in the feedback process and let us know what your priorities are and what challenges you foresee,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we can’t predict what the next few months will bring, but we are committed to doing what's best for our students, teachers and school staff. Above all, student and staff health and safety will continue to be our number one priority, and our agency will rely on health experts to inform any decision that is made.”

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