By Shennell McCloud in NJ Spotlight

Americans across the country are just beginning to comprehend the American Rescue Plan’s potential impact on their communities, particularly when it comes to investing in their children.

What’s more, 20% of this funding must be used to address learning loss. It comes not a moment too soon.

According to a new report from JerseyCAN, New Jersey students lost 30% of expected learning in ELA and 36% of expected learning in math. The loss was even greater among Black students, who lost on average 43% in ELA and 50% in math, as well as among Latinx students, who lost 37% of expected learning in ELA and 40% in math. In total,  approximately 393,000 students in ELA and 430,000 students in math — just in grades three through eight — will not be on grade level by the end of this school year.

JerseyCAN is calling for districts to invest in intensive tutoring, summer learning and extended learning time through the next school year. All of those priorities are important, and districts should implement them urgently. But schools shouldn’t be expected to shoulder this problem alone. It takes a village to raise a child, and it will take one to recover from a year of learning loss.

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