RALEIGH — A non-profit formed in 2020 to help school districts during the COVID-19 pandemic will be getting $13.5 million from federal relief funds to continue what was supposed to be temporary work.
The N.C. Education Corps (NCEC) has recruited tutors to help districts with instruction challenges and learning loss. Two areas NCEC has had a focus on during the 2021-2022 school year are K-3 literacy and aligning that work with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s literacy initiatives.
The $13.5 million will come from the third round of the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III).
According to presentation given at a January meeting of the American Rescue Plan Committee of Practitioners, “The program shall focus on accelerating COVID-19 learning recovery with students, families, and school personnel, particularly through high-impact literacy tutors grounded in the Science of Reading and reading instruction.”
NCEC has already received quite a bit of private and public funding. The group received $100,000 from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, a part of the federal CARES Act in its early stages.
Additionally, NCEC also has received a steady stream of money from the N.C. Education Fund, which N.C. State Board of Education Chairman Eric Davis described as a “holding fund” for grant money that would first come via “FAST NC.” The link to FAST NC on the Department of Public Instruction’s website is now defunct.
Records show that the NC Education Fund had four separate donations totaling $900,000 spanning Aug. 2020 through April 1, 2021. The donations included $500,000 from Foundation for the Carolinas, $100,000 from C D Spangler Foundation, $200,000 from the SECU Foundation, and $100,000 from the Mebane Charitable Foundation Inc.
In April of 2021, NCEC asked for $500,000 to continue operating. By August, the group requested another grant of $246,622.