NC Gov. Cooper directs $95.6M to help support K-12, postsecondary students impacted by COVID-19

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks during a briefing at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP)

RALEIGH, NC (WSPA) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday directed $95.6 million in new funding to help support K-12 and postsecondary students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the release, the funding comes from the state’s share of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER), and is intended to provide “emergency support to school districts, postsecondary institutions, or other education-related entities for addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Learning during a pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for students and staff, whether in the classroom or remotely. This funding should help protect the physical and mental health at schools, and help bridge the gap for students with unique learning needs,” Cooper said.

The governor said the following funding will be invested to support K-12 students across the North Carolina:

  • $15 million to the NC Community College System to provide tuition assistance to students enrolled in short-term workforce training programs leading to a state or industry-recognized credential in a high-demand field. 
  • $6 million to the UNC System for institutions to provide emergency assistance to North Carolina students whose ability to complete their degree has been impacted by the pandemic.
  • $4 million to the State Education Assistance Authority for independent colleges and universities to provide emergency assistance to North Carolina students whose ability to complete their degree has been impacted by the pandemic.
  • $566,000 to the UNC System for the NC School of Science and Mathematics and the UNC School of the Arts, each of which received limited to no federal higher education funding from the CARES Act because of the size of their high school student populations.

“To boost our economic recovery from this pandemic, we need to make sure that students are able to complete their postsecondary degrees or credentials,” Cooper said. “This funding will help current students stay on track towards completing their degrees and will help more North Carolinians get access to the workforce training they need to be job ready.”

According to the release, the remaining $10 million will be reserved to address other K-12 and postsecondary needs that may come up throughout the year.

Cooper reportedly has until May 2021 to allocate the funds and recipients have until Sept. 30, 2022 to spend the funds.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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