First Lady Jill Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona Embark on a Multi-State Summer Learning Tour 

Summer learning and enrichment programs can play a critical role in student success. From providing students opportunities to catch up academically from what they may have missed during the pandemic to providing channels for students to engage with their peers, friends, and caring adults, summer programs across the country are helping students recover and thrive. President Biden has invested significantly in expanding summer programs for students and families across the nation, because he knows it is an essential ingredient in student recovery and success. Through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP), states and districts received $122 billion to help schools reopen and help students catch up academically and access mental health supports, including by increasing summer programming. As a result, all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, are investing in summer learning and enrichment offerings, providing more opportunities for students – especially those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic – to benefit academically and socially from these programs.

Further elevating the importance of high-quality summer learning programs, President Biden has called on schools to use American Rescue plan funds to provide high-quality summer learning programs – as well as tutoring and afterschool programs – at the scale needed to support, on average, an additional four months of learning gains in reading and math.

Starting today, First Lady Jill Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona embark on a tour across the country to amplify that call and highlight how the Biden-Harris Administration is helping students catch up academically through summer learning programs supported by the American Rescue Plan.

Summer learning and enrichment programming is among the top strategies school districts are using to address missed instruction – and the American Rescue Plan is funding it.

President Biden’s American Rescue Plan provided states and districts with $122 billion to help schools reopen and help students recover academically and access the mental health supports they need. States were also required to set aside over a billion dollars in funding to invest in summer programs, because summer is an important time for students to reengage with their peers and teachers, catch up academically from missed instruction, and get the social, emotional, and mental health supports they need.

  • Local school districts plan to spend $27 billion of American Rescue Plan funds on academic recovery. According to a June analysis by Future Ed, school districts across the country plan to spend $27 billion on academic recovery, second only to investments in staffing to help students recover from the pandemic and thrive. The American Rescue Plan requires districts to spend 20% of their ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds on academic recovery, but according to the analysis, districts are planning to spend more than the required percentage – at least 25% – to help more students catch up academically. Districts are also planning to spend an additional 23% of their ARP funds on staffing – which will play a critical role in helping students recover academically and access the supports they need.
  • Summer learning is among the top strategies school districts are using to provide additional academic instruction  The Future Ed analysis also found that summer learning and afterschool programs make up nearly a quarter of the academic recovery investments. Its analysis projects that schools plan to spend over $6 billion of their ARP ESSER funds on these types of programs.

First Lady Jill Biden and Secretary Cardona will highlight summer learning and enrichment programs in Connecticut, Michigan, and Georgia.

Today, First Lady Jill Biden and Secretary Cardona kicked off a multi-state tour highlighting ARP-funded summer learning programs that are helping students catch up academically and providing them with mental health, social, and emotional supports they need to succeed. Together Connecticut, Michigan, and Georgia received $9 billion in ARP ESSER funds to support safe school reopening and recovery and are anticipated to spend at least $2 billion dollars on academic recovery, including through summer learning and afterschool programs.

  • Connecticut has received $1.1 billion in ARP ESSER funds, and the state and school districts are anticipated to spend at least $275 million dollars on state and local academic recovery efforts through September 2024. The Connecticut State Department of Education launched a Summer Enrichment Grant Program to provide up to $250,000 in funds each to dozens of grant recipients that are providing and expanding summer programs this year, particularly those serving students most impacted by the pandemic. Last summer, Connecticut awarded nearly $9  million to grant recipients for summer programming.

Dr. Biden and Secretary Cardona will visit a Horizons National summer learning program, held at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT, serving elementary students from local public schools. Horizons received a $157,500 ARP grant, which is allowing the organization to expand its programming across the New Haven region to serve 1,000 students.

  • Because of ARP ESSER funds, public schools in Detroit, MI have been able to double the number of students in summer school this year. Detroit, MI received over $800 million in ARP ESSER funds, and the state overall received over $3.7 billion in ARP ESSER funds. The state and school districts are anticipated to spend at least $925 million dollars on academic recovery, including through summer programming. Because of ARP ESSER, Detroit was able to expand its summer enrichment offerings and doubled the number of students in summer programs this year. As a result, 8,000 students are attending summer school this year.

Dr. Biden and Secretary Cardona will visit a Detroit Public Schools Community District summer learning program, held at Schulze Academy for Technology and Arts in Detroit, MI, serving kindergarten through 8th grade students from the school district. ARP funding has enabled thousands more students in the district to access summer programming, with a focus on enrichment opportunities including STEM and STEAM programming, arts, coding and cooking.  

  • Georgia is granting $40 million to over 100 organizations across the state operating summer and afterschool programs. Georgia received $4.2 billion in ARP ESSER funds, roughly $1 billion of which the state and school districts are anticipated to spend on academic recovery. As part of this effort, Georgia created the Building Opportunities in Out-of-School Time (BOOST) Grant program, where the state funds grants to community-based organizations that operate summer and afterschool programs. The goal of the program is to provide evidence-based programming focused on supporting students most impacted by the pandemic and helping them recover. Georgia is granting $40 million to approximately 100-120 organizations doing this critical work across the state, funded by ARP.

Dr. Biden and Secretary Cardona will visit a Horizons National summer learning program, held at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, serving students from Barnett Shoals Elementary School. Horizons received a BOOST Grant of $192,500 per year for three years starting this year to provide and expand programming to more Athens youth during the summer and year-round.

Dr. Biden and Secretary Cardona’s tour is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader commitment to addressing lost instructional time and ensuring students have the mental health supports they need to recover and thrive. Earlier this month, the Administration launched a national strategy to help students recover academically, with the goal of mobilizing 250,000 tutors and mentors to support students’ academic needs across the country. Tutors, mentors, and other adults in high-impact roles will play a critical role this summer and during the school year in helping students recover academically and succeed in and out of the classroom. To sign up to volunteer, or get help expanding, launching or improving high-quality programs, visit www.partnershipstudentsuccess.org.

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