Weekly NewsBriefs 1/3/22 - 1/9/22

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Georgia Pre-K teachers to get two more $1,000 bonuses – By AP News

State-funded prekindergarten and child care teachers in Georgia will get two more rounds of $1,000 bonuses paid from federal coronavirus aid.

The Department of Early Care and Learning announced the plan Tuesday, with one bonus planned for early this year and one planned for June. Commissioner Amy Jacobs in a statement called the payments “a small yet significant way to recognize the dedication and hard work shown during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

An earlier round of bonuses last year paid a total of $33.4 million to more than 33,000 teachers statewide. Jacobs told The Associated Press on Wednesday that all three rounds of bonuses are projected to cost about $100 million.

The state and public university system made $1,000 bonus payments to K-12 and university employees last year, also using federal aid.

In addition to the roughly 3,800 prekindergarten teachers and assistant teachers in Georgia’s public schools getting the bonuses, an equal number of prekindergarten teachers and assistants in private schools will get the money. A much larger number of teachers of children 3 or younger are eligible.

 

Second State Seeks to Lift Tuition Assistance Ban on Incarcerated Students – By Hugh Furguson, NASFAA News

New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced that her administration would seek to restore Tuition Assistance Program funding to incarcerated New Yorkers, lifting a 30-year eligibility ban. The move would make New York just the second state to repeal a state-wide ban along with New Jersey.

According to a recent analysis from The Education Commission of the States as of 2020 there were "19 of the 52 U.S. states and jurisdictions place no restrictions on eligibility for system-impacted students in either of their two largest financial aid grant programs."

“We know that incarcerated people who participate in correctional education programs are far less likely to reoffend and 13 times more likely to obtain employment after returning home,” Hochul said during her state of the state address. “So today I'm announcing a new ‘Jails-to-Jobs,’ initiative, so incarcerated people will have the support they need to find employment during re-entry.”