KABUL (Pajhwok): The US Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) detailing information about federal funds and resources available to support Afghan children and their families.
The Afghan children and families recently arrived, or may be arriving soon, in states and school districts across the US.
The department recognised the immediate and urgent need to provide quality and culturally responsive education to Afghan newcomers.
“All learners have a right to high-quality educational experiences,” Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten said in a statement from the department.
“Recent Afghan arrivals and their families have supported our country over the last 20 years, and we will keep our promise by providing access to equitable educational opportunities.”
She added: “The US Department of Education stands ready to support states and local districts as they welcome these important new members of our communities.”
The DCL explains several sources of federal funding available to state educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs).
SEAs and LEAs may use funds under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on recently arrived children.
The funds will be leveraged to develop culturally and linguistically relevant instructional materials, as well as materials and assessments in other languages.
The letter contains resources that LEAs may use as they fulfill their obligations to not only providing all students with free public education but also determining eligibility for students with limited English proficiency and disabilities.