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Morning headlines: Kemp hands out millions in COVID relief dollars for education

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Gov. Brian Kemp will hand out nearly $60 million in new funding from federal COVID aid for early learning and special education in Georgia.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is designating up to $37.4 million in federal COVID-19 relief money to private groups and public agencies to help students catch up on learning they missed during the pandemic.

Kemp on Monday directed $12 million to Boys & Girls Clubs statewide for tutoring and academic enrichment.

The state Department of Early Care and Learning will get up to $12 million for transition programs in summer 2023 for children entering 4-year-old prekindergarten and kindergarten next fall. The state Department of Education is getting $9.1 million, including $6.5 million to pay for more materials for special education students.

The funding comes from some $59 million in unspent COVID-19 relief money earmarked for private school aid, which Kemp is repurposing.

CCSD to hold meet and greet with superintendent finalist

Athens parents can meet Dr. Robbie Hooker, the sole finalist for Clarke County School District Superintendent, at a meet-and-greet this Sunday, Aug. 28, from 3-4 p.m. in the Vernon Payne Meeting Hall at the CCSD administrative offices building on Prince Avenue.

CCSD officials began searching for a new superintendent last November, after Dr. Xernona Thomas announced that she planned to retire in Dec. 2022. Officials did not list any potential candidates before naming Hooker as their sole finalist on Aug. 8.

Last week, the Athens NAACP released a statement saying that the CCSD’s selection process “lacked any semblance of transparency or community involvement” and failed to uphold “minimal protocols of fairness or equal opportunity.”

The Board of Education is expected to vote on Hooker’s appointment on September 1.

ACC seeks public input on Mitchell Bridge and Timothy Road changes

Members on the public can weigh in Tuesday on an array of proposed changes to Mitchell Bridge and Timothy Roads, designed to make the two roads more accessible and safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Most of the possible changes involve adding sidewalks in areas that have none or adding multi-use paths.

Today’s public input meeting begins at 5:30 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Timothy Road.

Graham attorneys ordered to submit possible questions by Wednesday morning

A federal judge has ordered Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) legal team to produce a list of questions a grand jury investigating efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results can ask the sitting senator.

Monday, Judge Leigh Martin May ordered attorneys for the South Carolina Republican to provide a list of questions that they believe can be asked under the speech and debate clause of the U.S. Constitution which protects legislative acts by active members of Congress.

The Fulton County DA will have until 9am next Monday to file a response and then Graham’s team will have two days to reply. The probe is seeking information from Graham about a pair of phone calls he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!
Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.
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