Public comment sought on waiver for Kentucky’s 21st CCLC Programs

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The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is accepting public comments on a proposed waiver to offer flexibility to 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant programs. 

Due to the extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented obstacles schools, teachers, students and their families are facing as the 2020-2021 school year begins, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) is offering flexibility to states regarding the requirement in section 4201(b)(1)(A) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) that a 21st CCLC program operate “during nonschool hours or periods when school is not in session (such as before and after school or during summer recess).”

Given the hybrid approach some local education agencies (LEAs) are considering in which students are in school part of the week and participating in remote learning during other times, the USED recognizes that students may benefit from dedicated personnel and enhanced technological resources to help them better engage with remote lessons, independent work that is assigned and other academic enrichment activities during the portion of the week when they are not physically present in school.

For that reason, under section 8401(b) of the ESEA, the USED is inviting states to request a waiver, for the 2020-2021 school year, of the requirement in ESEA section 4201(b)(1)(A) that restricts activities provided by a 21st CCLC program to activities provided only during nonschool hours or periods when school is not in session. If the waiver is granted, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) may permit 21st CCLC programs to provide supplemental activities when school is in session, but students are not receiving in-person instruction, such as by permitting a teacher to provide additional academic supports during remote learning. All other requirements for a 21st CCLC program would continue to apply.

Prior to submitting the request for the waiver, as required under ESEA section 8401(b)(3)(A), the KDE is providing the public, interested LEAs and other 21st CCLC subgrantees with a notice and opportunity to comment on the proposed waiver. 

Public comments must be received by 5 p.m. ET Oct. 2. Comments may be emailed to kdecommunications@education.ky.gov or submitted to Todd Allen, General Counsel, Kentucky Department of Education, 300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601.  Comments may also be submitted via fax to (502) 564-9321.

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