Colorado gets final $389 million in American Rescue Plan funds for in-person learning plans

By: - November 4, 2021 1:15 pm
physically distanced classroom

Colorado has received more than $1.1 billion in COVID-19 relief money for the safe return to in-person learning. (File photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

The Department of Education released an additional $389 million to Colorado on Thursday to sustain the safe operation of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total federal funding for the state’s return to school plans to $1.1 billion.

Colorado received its first payment of those American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds, about $777 million, in March. It is one of 46 states that received federal funding for its plan to sustain safe in-person learning. 

“The ESSER funding is truly a once in a generation investment in the education of Colorado’s students,” Colorado Commissioner of Education Katy Anthes said in a statement. “Our goal is to leverage this investment to help our districts and schools meet not only their current needs, but also anticipate and innovate to address future educational needs so we can emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.”

Colorado’s plan includes communication tools on vaccine information for students, investments in high-impact tutoring and after-school programs, strategies for teacher recruitment and retention and collaboration in rural districts for career-oriented learning. The state will need to submit its detailed plan for the funds in December. 

“Now with Colorado’s education plan approved, our state will be able to use almost $390 million to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment for our kids and address the toll the last year took on students, educators, and our communities,” Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said. 

In addition to Colorado, the Department of Education also approved the final $5 billion for California’s $15 billion funding.

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Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson covers state government, Colorado's congressional delegation, energy and other stories for Newsline. She formerly was a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, where she covered politics and government in southern Colorado.