The Day – Courtney advocates for federal COVID-19 relief funds for Norwich Free Academy

Norwich — U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney is urging the state to provide federal education COVID-19 relief funds to the state’s three endowed academies, including Norwich Free Academy, through the recent funding laws passed by Congress.

In a letter to state Office of Policy and Management Secretary Melissa McCaw, Courtney asked that funding through the state’s allocation in the second CARES Act and the new American Rescue Plan be committed to the three endowed academies.

In a response to Courtney, McCaw confirmed that NFA will receive $807,680 through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief portion, called ESSER II, of the second CARES Act. McCaw’s response did not provide information on potential funding for the endowed academies in the new American Rescue Plan.

The endowed academies do not qualify for direct grants through the federal relief laws, because they do not qualify for federal Title I assistance, McCaw wrote. The state instead has committed $1.4 million in ESSER II funds to the three academies.

McCaw wrote that the academies are designated public schools for some 3,800 Connecticut students.

“The Department felt it was important to ensure the schools had resources to support whichever method of learning (in-person, hybrid, remote) they needed to implement in response to the pandemic,” McCaw wrote to Courtney.