Skip to main content

Press Releases - County Council

Council approves funding to continue Educational Equity and Enrichment Hubs for County students

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Special appropriation initiated by Education and Culture Committee Chair Craig Rice, Vice President Gabe Albornoz and Councilmember Nancy Navarro will ensure the continuation of Educational Equity and Enrichment Hubs

ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 2, 2021—Today the Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a $1.8 million special appropriation to the Children’s Opportunity Fund Non-Departmental Account to continue the operation of Educational Equity and Enrichment (EEE) Hub sites. Along with the recent approval of $1.8 million in matching funds by the Montgomery County Board of Education, the EEE Hubs will receive $3.6 million in total to continue their support of up to 1,500 children throughout the County in successfully accessing distance learning. The funds will ensure the continuation of this critical resource for our most at-risk students.

“Although we can envision an end to the current crisis and a return to a new normal, our students remain impacted by the reliance on virtual learning until schools can safely be reopened,” said Councilmember Rice, who serves as chair of the Council’s Education and Culture Committee. “Providing reliable supports and resources so students can access their classes and continue their learning despite tremendous odds is imperative. I applaud the Children’s Opportunity Fund and the Black and Brown Coalition for their vision and commitment to standing up and expanding these Hubs in such a short period of time.” 

The Children’s Opportunity Fund (COF) leverages public funds to attract private funding and makes strategic investments to improve the lives of low-income children and families in Montgomery County. COF partners with the Black and Brown Coalition and childcare providers to deliver services in public school spaces to implement EEE Hubs. Currently, there are EEE Hubs in thirty-eight County public schools that provide care and supervision for school age children during the school day while Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is meeting virtually. School-based childcare providers and MCPS staff collaborate to identify and target students that need this support.

“COVID-19 has presented many challenges and while this crisis has loomed, our community came together to address a critical need in supporting our children and families,” said Council Vice President Albornoz, who serves as chair of the Council's Health and Human Services Committee. “Creating Educational Equity and Enrichment Hubs for children to continue their educational path through supervision and virtual learning supports will help to mitigate the negative impact distance learning challenges are having on our most vulnerable. The continuation of this special appropriation has never been more important for our children’s success.”

“The COVID-19 Pandemic has exacerbated existing inequities in our County, and it is our duty as legislators to work to take actions to close gaps wherever we see them,” said Councilmember Navarro, who serves as chair of the Council's Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee. “I am proud to continue to lend my support for the Equity Hubs Initiative, which continues to provide a dedicated space for students to connect to virtual learning during this difficult time. Our most vulnerable populations need our continued support.” 

The special appropriation reflects the County’s commitment to racial equity and social justice. The goal of the EEE Hubs is to provide supervision and virtual learning supports to mitigate the negative impact that distance learning challenges have on vulnerable, low-income students of color. Many students in our low-income communities have faced greater challenges in accessing virtual, online learning on a consistent basis. The race/ethnicity make-up of hub participants is 10 percent White, 53 percent Hispanic/Latino, 25 percent Black or African American, seven percent multiracial, and three percent Asian. The average family income is $26,918. Through intentional outreach efforts and in partnership with community resources, the EEE Hubs enroll students who would otherwise face barriers to online learning.

The Council staff report for this special appropriation can be viewed here.

 

# # #

Release ID: 21-037
Media Contact: Kristin Trible, 240-777-7947
Categories: Craig Rice, Gabe Albornoz, Nancy Navarro