CCSSO Board President Highlights States’ Use of Federal COVID Relief Funds to Support Students

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Washington, D.C. (March 28, 2022) – Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Board President and Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman today delivered a State of the States address at the Council’s 2022 Legislative Conference, highlighting states’ use of $190 million in federal COVID relief funds for schools to help students recover from the pandemic and set students up for success long-term.

“This unprecedented amount of money has allowed us a remarkable opportunity to address issues that pre-existed but were exacerbated by the pandemic. It’s challenged us to rethink our systems of instruction and delivery of services to make them more accessible, streamlined and collaborative,” Spearman said.

Chiefs share a collective goal of preparing all students, regardless of background, for college and career, and each state has used the federal funds efficiently and effectively to accelerate learning in ways that meet local needs, Spearman said.

She cited examples from across the country, in efforts including tutoring, reengaging students, recruiting and retaining teachers, supporting student mental health and wellbeing, and more.

Spearman also noted the incivility brought about by the pandemic, and said it is an opportunity to focus more intentionally on building students into future citizens who can show compassion and listen to one another even when they disagree. 

“If there is one thing that can unite us…it is our desire to graduate students who are prepared, compassionate, confident and ready to tackle the issues in their lives, careers, and communities,” she said. “I like to say we need to produce graduates who can identify our problems and solve them. The future of our nation lies in the hands of our 56 million students and their preparation for good citizenship.”


The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, Bureau of Indian Education, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.

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