At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed a  $190 billion spending bill that helped school districts pay for sudden, costly expenses, including shutting down and reopening schools. Administrators in districts, particularly majority-Black districts, used some of the money to pay for things that enhanced students’ education: tutoring, extended summer learning, afterschool programs, paying staff, and more. 

The  Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, however, is set to expire this fall. As school officials are scrambling to spend some $50 million in unused funds,  Congress is cracking down on how the money is and was spent. 

READ MORE: The Steep Price of School Underfunding

Yet as Black students continue to lag behind their white peers in math and reading — and face serious mental health issues, including a disturbing increase in suicide rates among Black girls — some experts say governments must find a way to replace those funds.

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Aziah Siid

Word in Black!

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