Iowa schools shore up mental health services, thanks to $30M in CARES Act funds

Principal Chris Myers sought to make mental health counseling available to students in the rural district of Graettinger-Terril for nearly four years. But each time he thought he might be close, money, or lack thereof, got in the way. Myers’ luck changed in July 2020, when Iowa received $50 million in federal funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, aka the CARES Act. The act passed in March 2020 as a $2.2 trillion relief package to respond to the economic fallout from COVID-19. Of that $50 million in CARES Act money, $30 million was allocated per capita, at $9.50 per Iowan.

Race to the Top Evens Playing Field, Challenges Teachers

President Obama’s new Race to the Top achievement standards for education aim to even the playing field for students, but are causing challenges for teachers who must cover more material then they are used to. If Iowa plans on participating in the next round of Race to the Top they must move quickly to meet the state and national standards.