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Measuring Full Effects Of COVID-19 On Oklahoma Student Learning Will Be Incredibly Difficult

Taylor Wilcox / Unsplash

Oklahoma students have missed a lot of time in the classroom because of the pandemic, and leveraging American Rescue Plan funds will be critical to helping them stay on track.

In a legislative hearing last week, the state’s top education officials told lawmakers that measuring the full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on students will be incredibly difficult.

State Education Secretary Ryan Walters said because of the unevenness of the past school year, it’s impossible to know the extent of the impact on students.

State schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister told legislators the effects record federal investment has already had on schoolchildren and their families is not clear.

"We’re still in the pandemic, and we don’t have the full information yet on what that impact is," said Hofmeister.

Hofmeister said she hopes an upgraded data system tool — costing roughly $35 million — could help the state make decisions moving forward. But regardless, state officials say they will have to be judicious in how they distribute Oklahoma’s $1.5 billion of American Rescue Plan money over the coming years to maximize student success.

Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
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