$72M in CARES Act funds awarded to Ala. higher education institutions

$72M in CARES Act funds awarded to Ala. higher education institutions

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded $72.34 million of the Coronavirus Relief, or CARES Act funds, for higher education institutions across the state.

The funding is to support the purchase of technology and infrastructure related to remote teaching and distance learning, the governor’s office said.

“Since July, the state of Alabama has awarded $432,753,000 to various levels of education to ensure that we have a safe and smart continuation of educational instruction,” Ivey said. “COVID-19 has exposed deficiencies in our remote learning capabilities, and I am pleased to award our institutions of higher education the critical funds to enhance their instructional experience.”

“My office has received numerous CARES Act funding requests, and we are eager to help as many folks as possible. We are still reviewing them to ensure they meet eligibility under the letter of the law and will be forthcoming when finalized,” she added.

According to the governor’s office, the Alabama Community College System will get just over $27 million.

“Alabama’s community colleges have adapted quickly to a new learning environment at each of our 24 colleges, but we are constantly looking for new, innovative, and engaging ways to improve the student experience,” ACCS Chancellor Jimmy H. Baker said. “We are grateful for the additional resources this funding will provide to enhance learning for Alabamians for years to come.”

The state’s public four year institutions will get $25 million and independent colleges will be awarded $20 million.

“While the Higher Education Partnership is energized by the return to campus of our students this fall, the year has certainly been filled with COVID-19 related challenges for Alabama’s 14 public universities,” Alabama Higher Education Partnership Executive Director Gordon Stone said. “Throughout the year, Governor Kay Ivey and her team have worked with the institutions to make sure that Alabama’s next generation of leaders have been served with a continuous learning experience. Thank you, Governor Ivey, for once again recognizing the importance of our students, faculty and staff with the latest round of CARES Act support.”

“On behalf of the 25,000 students at Alabama’s Independent Colleges, we want to express our sincere gratitude to the governor,” Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities President Paul Hankins said. “The additional support is greatly appreciated in this unprecedented time of financial need. These funds will go a long way to ensure our schools can remain open. Our colleges have done everything necessary to keep their students safe and on campus.”

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