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Murphy Administration Announces Additional Funding for Learning Acceleration


TRENTON – To further assist schools in promoting the academic recovery of New Jersey students to help close achievement gaps that were caused or exacerbated by disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy today announced an additional $35 million in funding is being made available for learning acceleration through the Fiscal Year 2024 budget. In total, more than $50 million is being made available to accelerate learning in the 2023-2024 school year.

“My Administration remains committed to addressing the academic needs of New Jersey students and providing them with the high-quality education they deserve,” said Governor Murphy. “This investment will pay dividends for our state by setting students up for success from a young age and ensuring they are prepared to grow and thrive throughout their educational journey and beyond.”

This funding is comprised of nearly $17 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds and $35 million in ARP State Fiscal Recovery Funds (SFRF) allocated in the FY2024 State budget. This funding will be used to invest in evidence-based practices that will help strengthen learning acceleration in schools throughout the state. Grants must be used to accelerate learning by increasing educational time through before-school, after-school, and summer learning programs and/or by implementing other high-quality, evidence-based interventions and programs.

The Department of Education is prioritizing schools implementing high-impact tutoring, an intervention for learning acceleration with a strong evidence base, for third and fourth-grade students statewide.

School districts, charter schools, and renaissance school projects are encouraged to submit applications to the Department of Education for a grant by responding to the Notice of Grant Opportunity by September 13, 2023.

Priority consideration will be given to applicants that demonstrate they will – through participation in the program – or already have obligated or expended ARP Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds toward learning acceleration beyond the 20 percent minimum allocation as a demonstration of ability and commitment to address learning loss and take full advantage of their COVID relief funding.

“Learning acceleration is the key to bridging learning gaps and leveling the playing field for students,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “By embracing innovative strategies and tailored support, and by designing instruction to inspire high levels of student engagement and interest, we can create a transformative educational experience that equips our youth for success.”

“Providing for the education of New Jersey’s students is of the utmost importance. Parents deserve to feel confident that their children are receiving the best education possible in our schools. We know the COVID-19 pandemic was disruptive to the learning experience of our students. That’s why we have made it a priority to equip schools with the resources necessary to support learning acceleration,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin. “This funding will make before-school and after-school programs, summer learning opportunities, and high-impact tutoring initiatives more accessible, helping students to recover missed opportunities and putting them on the path to academic success. Thank you to my colleagues in the Legislature and Governor Murphy for being partners in this work.”

“This is a timely investment in enhanced educational opportunities for New Jersey’s schoolchildren,” said Senator Vin Gopal, Chair of the Senate Education Committee. “It will address any learning loss caused by the pandemic and help accelerate the academic performance of our students. We want all of our children to be provided with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in school and beyond.”

“It is critical to the wellbeing of our students and our communities that we continue to look for creative ways to rebound from pandemic-related learning loss,” said Senator Troy Singleton. “This funding will provide districts with valuable resources to invest in after school programs and accelerated learning opportunities to help get kids back on track.”

“NJEA welcomes these additional funds and appreciates the governor’s emphasis on evidence-based strategies to accelerate student learning,” said New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) President Sean M. Spiller. “We look forward to working with the Department of Education to support educators in helping students overcome the challenges of the pandemic. New Jersey’s schools are the best in the nation because of the expertise that NJEA members bring to our schools and their dedication to their students, and because we have a governor who understands that educators need resources such as this funding for learning acceleration to enhance student success.”