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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Tutoring is free, but few NH families sign up

New Hampshire is giving parents $1,000 per student to pay for tutoring, but not many have signed up for the Yes, Every Student scholarship, reports Asher Lehrer-Small on The 74.

"So far this academic year, 724 young people have received scholarships — accounting for just $724,000 out of a $2.5 million total funded by federal COVID relief cash," he writes. At first, only students from low-income families were eligible, but all students are now eligible.

A majority of the state's students are not proficient in math and more than 40 percent are behind in English, according to tests this year. "Research shows sustained individual or small-group tutoring can be one of the best ways to help children catch up," writes Lehrer-Small.

It’s possible many families “just never learned about the program or couldn’t figure out how to sign up or didn’t think that they could make it work,” said Matthew Kraft, an associate education professor at Brown. “I don’t think … they’ve met the demand in that group of students.”

"Nationwide, parental interest in learning recovery options has been lower than policymakers would have hoped, according to recent research from the Brookings Institute," reports Lehrer-Small. "Less than a third of families said they wanted their kids to participate in tutoring and less than a quarter said they were interested in district-run summer camps."

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I live in a place where things weren't shut down like they were in other parts of the country. But, even with just the short closure and some random week-or-2 cancellations when numbers were high, routines and networks were completely disrupted. Some families opted out of activities or in-person school for a while. In some families, grandparents backed away from being childcare, while in others grandparents had to step in more because other options could be cancelled with little warning. I can't imagine what families are having to re-adapt to now in places with lots of closures, but even here with everything open for a long time, things don't feel normal and stable.

Adding in another activity like tutoring is…

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