How local school districts are using emergency funding to meet growing mental health challenges

After more than a year of distance learning, many children across America are struggling to catch up in school.

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as “the nation’s report,” learning loss from the pandemic has been massive, with up to 20 years of math and reading progress wiped out by distance learning and the difficulties accompanied it. Map.”

But parents and teachers are also seeing an increase in anxiety and psychological distress as students return to school. It’s a problem all educators here in the Coachella Valley grapple with.

“We have certainly seen a collective trauma experienced by our students, our community, our staff, our parents,” said Lissette Santiago, Coachella Valley Unified School District’s education officer. “We’ve seen behaviors that we’ve never seen before. Or if we’ve ever seen them, they’ve never been at this level.”

Hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency funding have been given to our schools in the valley. What has the money been spent on so far?

Angela Chen followed the money to see how taxpayers’ money is being spent to address the mental health issues plaguing our schools.

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