(The Center Square) – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced Tuesday the creation of a program she hopes will combat learning loss.
Kelly announced the creation of the Kansas Education Enrichment Program (KEEP). The program will offer low-income families a one-time $1,000 per child to help pay for some “educational goods and services,” including tutoring and school supplies, but not private tuition, according to an office news release. of the governor. The program is open to families with incomes below 185 percent of the federal poverty level guidelines.
A study published in the magazine “Nature Human Behavior” on Monday found “substantial” COVID learning deficits around the world that were “especially large among children from low socioeconomic backgrounds.”
The state will begin accepting applications for the program on February 22.
“With KEEP, we are enabling Kansas students to access the resources and support they need to improve in the classroom. I look forward to families having access to these funds soon,” Kelly said in the release. “In the meantime, I am calling on all Kansas businesses that provide educational services to join the KEEP Marketplace and help our students reach the their fullest potential.
Kansas citizens will be able to spend KEEP funds on the following goods and services, according to the release:
The purchase of curriculum and educational materials, including school supplies and certain permitted technological devices
Fields with academic curriculum such as music, art, science, technology, agriculture, math, and engineering
Musical instruments and lessons
Funding for the program comes from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Members of the Legislature have earmarked $50 million to address the issue, according to the Topeka Capital Diary.
Once KEEP Marketplace launches online, it will have a list of approved service providers. There will also be an option for individuals to apply to the state to approve different service providers for these educational enrichment programs.
To find out more about the program, including how to apply, visit https://www.keep.ks.gov/.