School Funding

Oklahoma education leaders grant $ 35 million in relief funds to districts to hire counselors


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In a year like no other, the need for Oklahoma school counselors is increasing during the pandemic. “Kids have a hard time. Some who’ve never had anxiety and fear before have it,” said Michelle McNear, of Moore Public Schools. This is the harsh reality that Oklahoma students face during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’ve never had to deal with it. Parents are under a lot more stress than they’ve been, financially, just like a unit. The kids have been isolated,” McNear said. To help students cope, the State Board of Education is awarding $ 35.7 million in federal aid to 181 Oklahoma school districts. “Moore is no stranger to trauma. We all know that,” McNear said. “A lot of things that have happened have been an incident, and then we deal with the consequences. With the pandemic, this is a chronic trauma.” Moore Public Schools will receive $ 825,000 over the next three years. The district will use this money to hire five elementary school counselors, two therapists for adult staff members and a recreational therapist. “We have seen a real increase in anxiety in adults only,” said Kristy Hernandez, of Moore Public Schools. “That way we can hopefully keep our teachers healthy and in the classroom where they do best for the kids. Officials also said the districts would match the funding they would receive to pay for the new positions.

In a year like no other, the need for Oklahoma school counselors is increasing during the pandemic.

“Kids have a hard time. Some who’ve never had anxiety and fear before have it,” said Michelle McNear, of Moore Public Schools.

This is the harsh reality that Oklahoma students face during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They have family crises that they have never had to face. Parents are under a lot more stress than they have been, financially, as a unit. The children have been isolated,” said McNear.

To help students cope, the State Board of Education is providing $ 35.7 million in federal aid to 181 Oklahoma school districts.

“Moore is no stranger to trauma. We all know that,” McNear said. “A lot of things that have happened have been an incident, and then we deal with the consequences. With the pandemic, this is a chronic trauma.”

Moore Public Schools will receive $ 825,000 over the next three years. The district will use this money to hire five elementary school counselors, two therapists for adult staff members and a recreation therapist.

“We have seen a real increase in anxiety among adults only,” said Kristy Hernandez, of Moore Public Schools. “This way we can hopefully keep our teachers healthy and in the classroom where they do the best for the kids.”

Officials also said the districts would match the funding they would receive to pay for the new positions.

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