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CMS issues $50M request for groups to help students recover from the pandemic

The Steve Smith Family Foundation's virtual learning center provides socially-distanced space for K-5 students to do remote lessons.
Ann Doss Helms
The Steve Smith Family Foundation supported CMS students during the pandemic by creating a remote learning center.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will use up to $50 million in federal COVID-19 relief money to pay outside groups for tutoring and support. It's part of the push to help students make up ground lost during the pandemic.

The district's request for proposalsseeks national, regional and local agencies to submit evidence-based plans to help students gain ground in reading, math and science. The tutoring can take place after school, on weekends or during summers.

“It is clear that we must intervene now to improve outcomes for many of our students, especially those from traditionally underserved racial and socioeconomic backgrounds,” Superintendent Earnest Winston said in a statement. “Gaps in student achievement that existed before the pandemic have grown wider, and they will not narrow without expanding learning opportunities and support beyond the time students are with our teachers and staff in classrooms during the school week.”

Students across the country saw proficiency levels plunge as remote and hybrid learning disrupted classes. CMS saw steep drops in 2020 test scores across racial and economic groups.

Proposals are due Nov. 4. The support programs will start as early as the second semester and can run through summer 2024.

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Ann Doss Helms has covered education in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, first at The Charlotte Observer and then at WFAE. Reach her at ahelms@wfae.org or 704-926-3859.