Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced the recipients of Round 1 of the second installment of the Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER II), amounting to a total of over $47 million in additional emergency assistance to support K-12 and higher education entities as they continue to address the disruptions and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we work to meet the needs of students, parents, and teachers by maintaining in-person learning, we know that our schools and education support organizations will need additional help,” said Governor Kemp. “We also know our education providers play a critical role in providing the workforce needed to combat the health and economic effects of the pandemic. This round of funding is geared toward the goal of keeping our kids in the classroom with minimal disruption to their education while strengthening that classroom-to-workforce pipeline. By working around the clock, we have weathered the difficulties presented by COVID-19 for almost three school years. With this new round of support, we will help get our educators and students across the finish line of the pandemic.”
Classroom Grants – $15.4 million
Governor Kemp will provide all K-12 teachers and paraprofessionals with $125 to be used for classroom expenses. The Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) will also be prepared to leverage federal funds for birth-to-age-5 teachers and paraprofessionals to complement this decision.
Teacher Pipeline – $1.3 million
Governor Kemp will put $789,730 in funding towards the expansion of the Georgia Math & Reading Corps program in Southwest Georgia. This is an existing program that helps high-need students unlock their potential through evidence-based and data-driven tutoring. The funding will help improve student achievement and recruit tutors – specifically in rural Georgia – for everyday instruction.
Governor Kemp will also award $517,575 in funds to the Georgia Southern University Research and Service Foundation. This support will help expand Georgia’s teacher pipeline and accelerate students in literacy by providing college tutors for reading instruction to K-5 students, promote reading and writing activities, help future teachers obtain field experience, and develop best practices for integrating tutoring support throughout the school day.
Student Mental Health Needs – $6 million
Governor Kemp will be extending the mental health initiative that was funded through GEER I until July 2023 through $5.5 million additional funds. This will provide postsecondary students more access to mental health resources and additional professional development opportunities for faculty.
Governor Kemp will also award $510,410 for Trauma Informed Care (TIC) Calm Down Stations and TIC calm down kits for individual families around the state, in support of wraparound services through local YMCAs.
Education-to-Workforce Pipeline for Healthcare – $3.1 million
As we continue to fight the pandemic while preserving lives and livelihoods in Georgia, Governor Kemp is dedicating these funds to support the need for more nurses and additional training with a special emphasis on expanding educational opportunities to more areas of the state and providing hands-on learning experiences.
• Georgia Southwestern State – $866,723
• Fort Valley State – $1,320,150
• Middle Georgia State – $900,000
PCOM Medicine Project (Moultrie Campus) – $820,202
To engage students early in their learning career and inspire an interest in the field of medicine, Governor Kemp is providing funds to build partnerships between K-12 school systems and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. This support will also provide technology upgrades and means-tested aid for student housing issues.
Education-to-Workforce Pipeline for Commercial Drivers – $8.32 million
Governor Kemp has directed these funds to support the critical need for more commercial drivers and workforce training opportunities, further addressing the supply chain issues impacting the state and country:
• Savannah Technical College – $1,990,000 for driving pad and trailers
• Georgia Piedmont Technical College – $2,000,000 for driving range and pad, and trailers
• Oconee Fall Line Technical College – $1,150,000 for driving pad and simulators
• Columbus Technical College – $1,770,000 for driving pad, mobile classroom, trailers, and simulators
• Southern Crescent Technical College – $1,132,500 for driving range and pad resurfacing, mobile classroom, and trailers
• Southeastern Technical College – $275,000 for driving range and pad resurfacing
Improving Outcomes for Students with Dyslexia – $4.7million
Building on the foundation of SB 48 (2019), Governor Kemp will provide these funds for a dyslexia screening and intervention tool for K-3 students. These funds will also be utilized to provide personalized reading instruction based on results, giving teachers another resource to help students succeed in reading. This project will impact 60,000 K-3 students in 14 different school districts. In Georgia, it is important that we “screen AND intervene.”
Rock Eagle 4-H Center – $2.2 million
Many of Georgia’s families benefit from visiting Rock Eagle, a crucial institution for hands-on learning experiences focused on agricultural and environmental information, leadership, communication skills, food and nutrition, health, energy conservation, and citizenship. These funds will support vitally needed improvements to the facility to increase safety and expand learning experience opportunities.
Charter School Growth Initiative – $4.1 million
Charter schools provide parents with options to choose the best learning environment for their children. Governor Kemp is awarding these funds to support the creation and replication of 10 new, high-quality charter schools in underserved communities. The funds will be utilized for start-up costs, networking opportunities, long-term planning support, and other purposes.
STEM Education – $1 million
Governor Kemp is awarding funds to Georgia Youth Science & Technology Centers, Inc. to strengthen STEM learning with real-world information from industries in the state. Programming will focus on afterschool enrichment options, family science events, and providing technology to students. Counties that will benefit from these funds include Baker, Clay, Glascock, Hancock, Lincoln, and Warren.
Georgia Music Education Grants – $200,000
Governor Kemp is providing funds to schools and non-profits across the state for music-related educational instruction, enriching the learning experience.
About GEER II
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), was signed into law on December 27, 2020. This Act provides funding to supplement the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund awarded to each state under the previous CARES Act, creating a second GEER funding stream, GEER II. The funding was awarded for the purpose of providing local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and other education-related entities with emergency assistance in response to COVID-19. The total available funding for GEER II for the state of Georgia was $47 million. The second round of GEER II funds will be awarded following the transfer of EANS funds from the Georgia Department of Education and guidance from the US Department of Education.
The funds were made available for these permissible uses. More about the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund II can be found here. Previous awards can be found here.