Students pay the price as Texas leaders sit on federal funds
To address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government allocated billions of dollars for K-12 schools and colleges. It designated some funds for distribution by state governors and some for colleges and universities. But the bulk of federal emergency education funds are intended for K-12 schools via the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER).
Unfortunately, Texas leaders are choosing not to accept those funds, leaving schools without critical relief monies. Commissioner Morath reported recently that half of Texas’ students are likely to perform below grade level by the end of this school year (Morath, 2021). And Texas schools lost contact with 600,000 students since the pandemic began (TEA, 2020). Three out of four older students report struggling with mental wellness issues (Ramón, 2021).