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Arizona Department of Education is Using American Rescue Plan Funds to Help School Communities in Need

Posted on May 20, 2022 • Category: News Release
By David Gordon, AZ Government, Education

Over the last three weeks, the Arizona Department of Education, under the leadership of Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, has authorized funding from the agency’s American Rescue Plan funding pool to appropriate several projects for school communities and programs so they can further enrich student learning for children and families across the Grand Canyon State.

On May 3, 2022, the Department allocated $12.1 million to six organizations to help students and their families with mental health issue issues and learning.

On May 5, 2022, the Department funded $1.7 million combined to Special Olympics Arizona and Arizona Autism United to help children with disabilities.

On May 10, the Department allotted $13.3 million combined to the ASU Center for Science and Imagination, AZ Science Teachers, SciTech Institute, and the Arizona Educational Foundation to help children interested in STEM related-fields.

On May 12, $11.6 million combined was funded to Valley of the Sun United Way, Arizona PBS Kids Educators, and Childs Play to help further student literacy efforts.

On May 17, the Department dedicated $1.8 million combined to the University of Arizona and Akimel O’Otham Pee Posh Charter School to assist Native American Communities.

On May 29, the Department allocated a combined $29.2 million from American Relief funds to several local education services. Please read the full press release below:

“The Arizona Department of Education today announced funding aimed at supporting education recovery efforts at the local level. “We know that creative solutions to big problems often come from local leaders closest to the issues,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. “Our investments give these leaders the support they need to address student needs at the local level.”

The funding will support:
Maricopa County School Superintendent’s Office will receive $9.9 million for the Learning Acceleration Project, equipping teachers and school leaders with skills and tools to ensure all students, especially those with pandemic-related learning loss, can engage in grade-level learning.

Santa Cruz County Education Services Agency will receive $5.9 million for the Invest in Our Youth Project, representing a comprehensive initiative for our young children and youth which will address learning loss and the social and emotional stress resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Coconino County Education Services Agency will receive $4.8 million to support the Building Resilient Youth and Schools (BRYS) project. BRYS aims to equip educators and schools with the skillset required to address the multi-faceted mental and physical impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic directly correlated to a reduction in education effectiveness in youth.

Cartwright Elementary School District will receive $2 million to support students using a three-pronged program. This will include structured play during recess to allow students to apply their social skills, improving behavioral outcomes. Cartwright will also provide home libraries to extend students’ access to high-quality reading materials and resources to support math learning.

Chicanos Por La Causa will receive $2 million to offer increased mental, behavioral, and physical health support to students. CPLC school sites will hire on-site counselors to address the immediate needs of students.

Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District will receive $1.7 million to implement Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT), a family engagement model grounded in the notion that schools can thrive when families and teachers work together as genuine partners to maximize student learning inside and outside of school.

Avondale Elementary School District will receive $1.6 million for the implementation of i-Ready Learning instructional resources district-wide. The strategies provided by i-Ready will give educators the tools they need to support student academic success in math and reading.

City of Tempe Human Services Department will receive $1.3 million to provide college and career readiness support services to underrepresented middle and high school students who live or attend school in Tempe and the surrounding areas. Students will receive individualized college and career advising, Free Application for FAFSA completion assistance, and work-based learning opportunities, preparing students to achieve their postsecondary education and career goals.

“Our hard-working staff for Tempe’s College Connect and Career Ready programs are to thank for securing this grant,” said Tempe Councilmember Robin Arredondo-Savage, a long-time supporter of college and career readiness programs. “We are grateful for the support and recognition of this $1.3 million and how the funds will help the young people of Tempe prepare for their future.”

“As an educator and community service provider, I have seen firsthand the socioeconomic challenges and health disparities in our communities which became more visible as we navigated through the height of the pandemic,” said Lori Mejia, Superintendent of Chicanos Por La Causa Community Schools. “These funds from the Arizona Department of Education will ensure culturally relevant mental, behavioral and physical health support is provided in our three community high schools and to families in underserved communities in Tucson and Phoenix.”

“Student mental health is a necessary foundation to student achievement much in the same way that educator productivity and effectiveness is dependent on strong mental health,” said Coconino County Superintendent Cheryl Mango-Paget. “With these funds, the BRYS team will create a Coconino County School Incident Response team and establish a multi-tiered system of support including universal, selective, and targeted interventions, clinical services and counseling, and educator competency training to support educator and student mental wellness.”

These projects are funded with dollars from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and are part of Arizona’s ARP School and Community Grantees. All funded projects share the goal of supporting schools, students, educators, and families as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

On May 19, the Department announced another $6.2 million to the Center for the Future of Arizona to help improve career and civic learning in schools.

According to the press release from the Arizona Department of Education, the funding is divided in two portions.

  • “Arizona Pathways to Prosperity (APTP) will receive $5.1 million to increase college and career readiness and opportunities for upward economic mobility for K-12 students. APTP provides quality career exploration and guidance, direct experiences in the workplace, and an early start on earning college credit that leads to a career-connected degree or credential in high-demand career fields.
  • School Participatory Budgeting (SPB) will receive $1.1 million to engage elementary through high school students in learning democracy by influencing decisions that impact their lives and transform their school communities. The funding will enable CFA to significantly expand SPB across Arizona to serve many more students and school communities impacted by the pandemic.”

Superintendent Hoffman commented on this program funding:

“CFA is a proven leader in helping students understand the career paths available to them and how they can strengthen our state’s communities. The Department’s partnership with CFA will pay dividends for Arizona’s students and our state as a whole long into the future.”


Please click here to access the Arizona Department of Education website to see where all the approved American Rescue Funds have been allocated.