FRANKFORT, Ky. — Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman, who is also the secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, sent a letter July 9 to Betsy DeVos, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, requesting an additional round of CARES Act funding from the federal government that would include money to reopen Kentucky schools safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lt. Gov. Coleman also requested flexibility in the way the CARES Act funds can be used throughout the P-20 educational system according to the needs of each community.
“While some districts may resume in-person classes creating the need for increased PPE and transportation funding, other districts may choose a distance learning model that requires funding for increased technology and broadband,” Lt. Gov. Coleman wrote in the letter to Sec. DeVos.
Without additional federal funds, schools will not be able to get through the upcoming school year. In addition to regular school expenses, many education leaders are concerned about how they will purchase protective equipment such as masks and cleaning products to disinfect schools every day. Other schools may need funding to buy computers for students who will be using technology to learn from home.
As the secretary of EWDC, Lt. Gov. Coleman is an ex-officio member of the Kentucky Board of Education and has worked with the board to champion education for Kentucky. As a teacher, her experience is helpful as the KBE tackles difficult decisions about how to educate students during the pandemic.
“This global pandemic has forced us to reimagine learning; to redesign school settings and create learning environments that are increasingly dependent upon communication and technology,” wrote Lt. Gov. Coleman in the letter. “The way schools have been funded in the past must evolve with these new educational practices. Our educators, students, and their families have all adapted to the changing times. Our education funding must, too.”