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Maine To Receive Nearly $14M To Further Support Students with Disabilities

Logan Landry, Simone Moore
Robert F. Bukaty
Social studies teacher Logan Landry looks over the shoulder of seventh grader Simone Moore as she works on a project while seated next to a cutout of Elvis Presley at the Bruce M. Whittier Middle School, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, in Poland, Maine.

After many students with disabilities struggled to access services during the pandemic, the state is receiving nearly $14 million to help support them over the next few years.

The funding comes from the federal American Rescue Plan, which was passed earlier this year.

Erin Frazier, with the Maine Department of Education, says she expects that many districts will use the money to add additional programs for students who may have been unable to access needed services during the pandemic because they couldn't attend school.

"To make sure if there are any skills that need to be retaught, or extra teaching that has to happen, to alleviate anything that happened during the pandemic, that we would use that money to make sure that happened," Frazier says.

Frazier says the new federal money represents a huge boost in funding for programs for young children with disabilities. She says the funds will allow the state to add more preschool programs after some were forced to close over the past year.

"We did lose some preschool programming during COVID, because of the economic impact. So that is all going to be working toward increasing program and direct services for children in preschool," she says.