Kay Ivey settles $49M in virus-related education aid

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Governor Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris ask citizens to continue wearing masks and use social distancing during a coronavirus update in the state capitol building in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday June 29, 2020. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

Kay Ivey announced Monday that nearly $49 million in federal virus response aid will pay to boost internet access for students, offer digital textbooks and help with other education budget needs.

The dollars come from an education relief fund created by Congress that allows governors to determine the spending plans. Alabama’s Republican governor is sending her state’s allocation to the state education department.

Under the plans, $26 million will be targeted to programs aimed at closing student achievement gaps; $10 million will equip school buses with WiFi capabilities; $9 million will provide school tutoring resources; and $4 million will be used for digital textbook and library resources.

“Closing school during the pandemic disproportionately impacts students who are already struggling, and it is our obligation to provide as much stability and access possible in these uncertain times,” Ivey said in a statement.

A separate $50 million in federal aid, Ivey announced, will be spent to reimburse Alabama colleges and universities for coronavirus-related expenses.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.