New NJ grants address students’ educational and mental health needs

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SOUTH JERSEY (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey is offering coronavirus relief money to help students who have suffered from mental health issues during the pandemic.

Gov. Phil Murphy said $1.2 billion in federal aid will be available to school districts for a broad range of needs, from after-school programs to HVAC systems upgrades.

“While our schools and educators have done tremendous work in this extraordinarily stressful past 11 months to keep our kids learning, we know that our kids are still facing, themselves, incredible stress,” he said.

The state is also allocating $75 million in grants to districts to combat learning loss.

“Whether it be greater access to one-on-one tutoring or broadening summer learning programs, providing educators with new professional development opportunities and parents with new tools to help promote their kids’ learning,” Murphy added.

The governor said the Garden State will ask the federal government to waive standardized testing this school year, though he does not know if the Biden administration will go along with his request.

The state teachers union and the New Jersey Association of School Administrators back the governor’s request, adding the last thing students need is to lose instructional time to take standardized tests.​

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