California is being forced to spend $2 billion to help students recover from learning loss due to school shutdowns after a legal settlement.
According to non-profit law firm Public Counsel, the state of California will spend some of the remaining COVID-19 relief funds on tutoring and other efforts to help students recover from learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly every school in California was locked down for in-person learning and students attended school remotely from home during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Between March and June of 2020, neither of my children learned anything in school,” one of the plaintiffs in the case, Kelly R., a Los Angeles native, said.
“Proposing these changes also allowed the state to resolve the [case], and we appreciate the collaborative approach and the insights that plaintiffs offered that informed this proposal,” said Elizabeth Sanders, director of communications for the California Department of Education.
She went on to say, “We look forward to engaging with the Legislature and stakeholders over the coming weeks and months to advance this proposal and focus learning recovery dollars on serving the students with the greatest needs.”
The settlement comes after the Department of Education reported in 2022 that average reading scores saw the largest decline in 30 years following the pandemic.
Additionally, the settlement comes after a study was released in June showing progress in reading and math stalled for elementary and middle school students despite billions in federal spending funneled into efforts to change the trajectory.
In a Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) brief released in June 2023, key findings indicated a sluggish academic recovery for American students in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted traditional learning methods through extended school closures and transitions to online learning.
The California Department of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Fox News’ Taylor Penley contributed to this report.
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