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Metro school districts could face billion dollar bill to reverse learning losses, new study finds – WSB-TV Channel 2

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ATLANTA — Standardized checks present that almost all Georgia public college college students suffered studying losses throughout the pandemic. The identical is true nationally. Now a staff at Georgetown College in Washington, D.C. has estimated the price of digging college students out of that educational gap earlier than it turns into a lifelong burden for them.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher learn by the findings of the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown and mentioned the quantity of labor to be accomplished is astonishing.

The excellent news is, Georgia alone obtained greater than $6.5 billion from Washington simply to deal with education-related issues arising from COVID-19, and almost $3 billion continues to be out there for native college districts right here.

Two educators who carefully observe the information of such funding wonder if there’s enough urgency about utilizing the cash to attempt to reverse studying losses.

“Faculty districts, for them, it’s showtime,” mentioned Dr. Marguerite Roza, who runs the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown. The lab has ready a district-by-district take a look at studying losses and estimated prices for correcting these losses in each college district within the nation.

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In an interview with Channel 2, Roza mentioned colleges want to maneuver rapidly.

“The cash is within the colleges, and children are behind from the pandemic and the clock is ticking. Not solely does the cash have a deadline to spend, children are getting older. When you have been in second grade throughout the pandemic and also you didn’t actually, totally discover ways to learn, you’ve gotten older. You is likely to be in fifth grade now. We’ve received to get it accomplished to get these children again in control,” Roza mentioned.

Edunomics Lab estimates simply 5 metro Atlanta college districts will want about $895 million for tutoring or different types of extra instruction (e.g. Saturday or summer season courses) to right pandemic studying losses in studying and math. Listed below are the numbers: APS — $110.9 million; Cobb County — $173.3 million; DeKalb County — $230.9 million; Fulton County — $144.5 million; and Gwinnett County — $232.4 million.

“The training loss — how large it was — didn’t shock me. What stunned me was how little districts are spending on studying loss,” mentioned Dr. Ben Scafidi, who served as an training advisor to then-Georgia Governor. Sonny Perdue and who now runs Training Economics Middle at Kennesaw State College. He’s involved the severity of studying losses isn’t getting the general public consideration it deserves.

“I don’t assume the general public grasps it, however I do assume particular person households perceive it as a result of they see what’s happening with their very own youngsters,” he advised Channel 2.

He questioned if there was a enough sense of urgency in Washington, on the state stage or in native college districts.

“I might have thought districts would have spent virtually all of this cash on remediation, particularly because the COVID well being circumstances improved dramatically,” Scafidi mentioned.


“You get the sense that folks have moved on from the pandemic, or the main focus is de facto solely on the psychological well being, social and emotional well being piece. We pushed apart the educational piece for now,” mentioned Roza, who added college districts must deal with studying loss aggressively and ask frequently if their efforts are working.

“We can not go a complete 12 months, look ahead to the check scores and say, ‘uh, oh. It didn’t work very properly.’ Faculty districts must be — on common foundation throughout the 12 months, checking in on their investments to see if all this cash is reaping a profit for college kids. If not, they’ve to alter course mid-year. We’re apprehensive that we’re not seeing that.”

There’s nonetheless almost $3 billion out there to Georgia college districts, they usually have large latitude about tips on how to spend it. One requirement is that they spend at the very least 20% of the final and largest pot of cash to fight studying losses.

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