Last updated May 21, 2020
On April 20th Governor Beshear announced the closure of Kentucky’s public schools for the remainder of the academic year in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. As a result, our local, state, and federal leaders have worked to secure much needed support for the K-12 community through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Kentucky is eligible to receive over $43 million from the U.S. Department of Education. But first, the Commonwealth must submit a successful application to the federal Department of Education in order to request funding. These funds will provide relief for students, schools, and the general education community impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Governor Beshear will have a great amount of flexibility in determining how these funds will be used to assist K-12 schools and the Commonwealth’s colleges and universities. This funding may provide additional support to local schools and their communities offering the following services:
Provide Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) to K-12 students
In schools throughout Kentucky, students are using their home- or school-provided computers for NTI lessons, using online conferencing platforms, working from paper packets, or checking in with teachers via phone.
- Although NTI instruction varies from local district to local district, many may receive a computer and/or paper packet via mail or in-person at a feeding site location.
- Parents or other trusted adults should contact their local school district to request a computer and/or paper packet.
For more information about NTI instruction, please contact the Kentucky Department of Education.
Provide nutritional support to K-12 students
The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act provided additional nutrition assistance including increased assistance if a child’s school has been closed for five or more consecutive days. Additionally, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided states with flexibility and approved several waivers to ensure adequate nutrition for children and families across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the Monitoring the Impact of COVID-19 on Families’ Economic Security post to read the list of opportunities available for children and families.
As federal and state level discussions continue, national and state organizations are advocating for an extension of the Child Nutrition Program Response and School and Summer Food Service Program waivers to ensure meal services are continued for children throughout the summer, and until schools reopen.
Feeding sites are available to children under the age of 18 at locations throughout Kentucky’s public school districts. To find a feeding site in your area, visit education.ky.gov.
Support students with special needs
Per the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), local districts using Kentucky’s NTI program must ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to the opportunities that students in the general education population do during NTI instruction. For a list of Frequently Asked Questions and additional information concerning the rights of special needs students, please reference this page from KDE’s website or contact KDE’s Office of Special Education and Early Learning at (502) 564-9850 Ext. 4121.
A national coalition of more than 30 disability and education groups has created a digital one-stop shop of teaching resources for students with special education needs to help bring some level of equity to special education during the school closures.
Provide guidance on grading practices, promotion, graduation ceremonies, and other unknowns
The newly formed Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Education Continuation Task Force is an advisory group working to determine guidance for school districts as the education community works to address unknown answers to many of the questions caused by the COVID – 19 Pandemic. To follow meetings of the Education Continuation Task Force, visit the KDE media portal.
View our COVID-19 and Kentucky Kids webpage to stay up-to-date on ongoing advocacy efforts.