Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Tuesday pledged to continue in-person learning for students across the state, even if it requires unconventional methods.
Ducey created the Open for Learning Recovery Benefit program, which will provide financial assistance to families who may face unexpected barriers due to school closures.
Specifically, the new state program will grant up to $7,000 to parents for certain child care, school transportation, and online tutoring or school tuition needs.
The funds will be available to parents who meet the income requirements and “a school closes for even one day,” according to the governor’s office.
“In Arizona, we’re going to ensure continued access to in-person learning,” said Governor Ducey in a statement. “Everyone agrees that schools should stay open and kids need to be in the classroom. With this announcement, we are making sure parents and families have options if a school closes its doors. Parents are best suited to make decisions about their child’s education. In-person learning is vital for the development, well-being and educational needs of K-12 students. We will continue to work with families, public health experts and school leaders to ensure our kids can stay in the classroom and parents have a choice — always.”
The decision from Ducey follows some school districts across the country moving back to remote learning. In Wisconsin, school systems in two of the state’s largest cities, Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), recently detailed that students under their jurisdiction will be mandated to receive educational instruction from home.
Multiple studies have shown the negative consequences of remote learning on students. For example, one survey from McKinsey and Company noted that minority students were affected the most during the first wave of online learning.
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