NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The state will allocate more than $4 billion in federal funding to push for in-person learning and recouping learning loss because of COVID-19.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and education commissioner said much of the focus will be ensuring students are reading on track by the third grade and that. Their goal is to get students fully recouped in one to two years. Again, it is part of a big push for in-person learning. The governor said it’s the only way to get students back on track and that virtual learning should be reserved for emergencies.
"This work that we’ve already done in our state has been a huge step in the right direction toward moving the needle for student but the hardest work still lies ahead," Lee said. "Our new legislation and our work to hold districts harmless along with this new funding provide districts with more opportunities to meet the needs of these students and provide resources to help them be successful."
Infrastructure, technology such as WIFI and other learning resources, and tutoring were among other priorities and the learning loss legislation passed at the beginning of the year. The commissioner says part of the funding will also go toward monitoring student progress.
Lee said Monday that everyone needs to get back to in-school learning. Lee made the statement prior to an education announcement.
Metro Schools Director Dr. Adrienne Battle said she talked with Gov. Bill Lee on Thursday afternoon about the reopening of schools.
“In-person learning is safe and it’s the only way our students will get back on track after significant learning loss,” Lee said in a statement. “I support the State Board of Education’s work to ensure that in-person learning is again the standard in Tennessee and virtual learning is reserved for emergency use only.”
The Tennessee General Assembly approved a $160-million package of bills to combat learning loss for students across the state during the pandemic.