Federal funding will help Rockford students catch up from e-learning struggles

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — For over a year, students and educators have faced unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Now, federal money will help students in Rockford make up for the lost time.

Many students had to adjust to the constant changes in their education due to the pandemic, which in turn had an impact on their learning.

A new federal fund was created to give students the resources they need to get all caught up.

“Teachers worked tirelessly to adapt to remote learning, parents gave it there to guiding their children through challenges they never saw coming, and of course our kids watched their day-to-day routine get usurped by the pandemic,” said Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker.

Wednesday, Gov. Pritzker made a stop at Ellis Elementary School, where he announced Rockford Public Schools will receive $220 million in federal funding to improve education.

“The state’s P-20 council has developed expert guidance for navigating this long period of disruption with the Illinois renewal resource guide that includes things like tutoring and counseling and investing in mental health,” said Gov. Pritzker.

RPS 205 Superintendent Dr. Ehren Jarett was also there and says students have certainly felt the impacts of the pandemic.

“At the end of the day, students had a much harder time being deeply connected to their learning with other students and the faculty and staff. I think that’s one of the challenges whether it was shorter in-person days or being remote,” added Dr. Jarrett.

Dr. Jarett says the funds will be put to good use to help students who need the extra support when they return to the classroom.

“By allowing this investment, it allows us to have extra staff. It allows us to make extra investments in our summer programs potentially lengthening the school days in terms of before and after-school programming during the year extra tutoring, extra social and emotional support,” he explained.

“We’re so excited to have this infusion of federal and state investments to support us during these challenging times.”

In addition to RPS Schools, Harlem School District will receive $22 million and Belvidere will get $14 million.

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