Georgia doling out more than $11M in COVID relief to help teachers

(The Center Square) – The Georgia Department of Education is dishing out more than $11 million in federal COVID-19 relief to help more than 14,600 Georgia teachers.

The State Board of Education approved $6.8 million in Expanding Opportunities for Teachers Grants for 19 school districts, higher education institutions and Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESAs). Recipients can use the money to pay for tuition, fees and exam costs for Georgia public school teachers enrolled in approved Teacher and Teacher Leader Endorsement programs.

The board also approved $5 million in grants for 15 school districts, higher education institutions and RESAs. The money will support the Georgia Teacher Academies for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP), and recipients can use the money to pay for tuition, books and exam fees for candidates taking an alternative certification route to enter teaching.

“It’s our goal to elevate the teaching profession, strengthen the teacher pipeline, and ensure every Georgia student has access to excellent teachers,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said in an announcement. “These grants will support our teachers growing as professionals, from beginning teachers to teacher leaders – and their continued growth supports our students’ ability to learn.”

The state pulled money from the federal American Rescue Plan’s (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund to cover the cost of the grants.

Recipients are Augusta University, Central Savannah RESA, Coastal Plains RESA, Chattahoochee-Flint RESA, DeKalb County School District, Georgia State University, Griffin RESA, Mercer University, Metro RESA, Middle Georgia RESA, North Georgia RESA, Northeast Georgia RESA, Northwest Georgia RESA, Oconee RESA, Okefenokee RESA, Pioneer RESA, Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, Southwest Georgia RESA, Thomas University, University of Georgia, West Georgia RESA and Wiregrass Technical College.

By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor

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