Governor Janet T. Mills, the first woman governor of Maine, announced today that the US Department of Education has approved Maine’s proposal to use American Rescue Plan funding to support in-classroom instruction for Maine children, sustain the safe operation of schools and equitably expand opportunity for students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the approval of Maine’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP) ESSER) Plan, the US Department of Education is awarding more than $137 million in funding through the American Rescue Plan. In March 2021, the US Department of Education also awarded the Maine Department of Education more than $274 million in funding.
The highlights of Maine’s plan as approved by the Federal government are as follows: returning to in person learning in 2021; safely reopening schools and sustaining safe operations; addressing the academic impact of lost instructional time; investing in expanded afterschool programs; staffing to support students’ needs’ addressing the “whole student;” and meeting Emergency Needs.
“This pandemic has been hard on kids, parents and school staff, but the Federal government’s approval of Maine’s plan is a welcome step forward as we return to classroom instruction and provide local school districts the resources necessary to address the needs of Maine students,” said Governor Janet Mills in a press release issued by her office this afternoon. “I thank the US Department of Education for its approval of our plan and am grateful that because of the American Rescue Plan we will have these significant resources to provide a quality education for Maine children as we continue our fight against this deadly pandemic.”