DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education have announced that $11.5 million in federal COVID-19 education funding will assist in mental health resources for students as well as support community college career credential programs.
Up to $8.76 million of the funds will help pre-K-12 school districts provide mental health services and support to students. The other $2.89 million will go to Iowa’s community colleges to help those whose jobs have been impacted by the pandemic. The funding will help people enroll in short-term training programs for high-demand job fields such as manufacturing, transportation, technology, and health care.
“While the true cost of this pandemic is yet unknown, we’re already aware of the devastating mental health effects on our young people,” Reynolds said. “Expanding mental health services in our schools is critical to their overall recovery. When we care for the whole child, we secure better outcomes for them and their families.”
The funding is being provided through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER II Fund) which is a part of a federal COVID-19 Act passed in December of 2020.
“These additional resources will help schools expand services to address growing social-emotional-behavioral health needs and support the overall well-being of students affected by the pandemic. In addition, increasing financial assistance through the GAP Tuition Assistance Program will help more Iowans gain the skills needed for good-paying, high-demand jobs in Iowa, both today and in the future.”Ann Lebo, director of the Iowa Department of Education
In the fall, there was a first round of GEER funding, that provided Iowa with $26.2 million. Gov. Reynolds used these funds to expand broadband access and increase internet connectivity.