Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

With an extra $75 million, Minnesota schools plan for summer classes

The new funds will help expand programs after the school year's disruptions



Children arrived for classes at Forest View Elementary in the summer of 2020.

An infusion of $75 million in federal aid will boost Minnesota school districts' summer school offerings this year, though it may be coming too late for some to dramatically expand their programs.

School leaders, eager to use the summer break to help students catch up and regroup after the chaotic pandemic school year, have spent months making big plans - and waiting for state officials to deliver on promises of extra support. Last week, a state budget deal between Gov. Tim Walz and leaders in the Legislature set aside money for summer school out of a larger pot of Minnesota's pandemic relief aid from the federal government.

Now, with just weeks to go before many of the programs begin, school leaders are in a final sprint to sort out how to best use the additional funds, overcome widespread staffing shortages and sign up a larger-than-normal number of students. Some are confident that they'll be able to deliver on Walz's vision of this summer as a chance to close gaps and tackle the year's losses with ambitious class offerings, activities and mental health support. Others, like Farmington Area Public Schools Superintendent Jason Berg, say they're going to do their best - but are wary of overpromising.


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