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GEER funds: Innovating to improve education statewide

Posted on May 27, 2021 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main

For students across the state, how do we translate lessons learned from the pandemic into real innovation in education?  Part of the answer could be the nearly $10 million Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund to provide support for a wide range of projects — from an online teacher academy and a transition-to- college summer program for students to innovation grants and a community of support for families. The goal is to build on the Ige administration’s 2017 Blueprint for Public Education and encourage innovation to both respond to the pandemic and set a course for educational change and reform.

The plan is based on the three tenets of relief, resilience and reinvention as part of the state’s overall plan for long-term recovery. “The timing and purpose of the GEER funds is designed to look toward how we can improve education for students, based on the emerging lessons of the pandemic,” said the governor. The plan elements include:

  • Innovation grants – Grants of from $100,000 to $500,000 are available to public, private and charter schools as well as other educational entities and non-profits. Initiatives may include creating digital equity, providing support for families, and distance learning. The deadline for applications is June 4, 2021 for implementation in the coming school year. Grant recipients will share their projects at an Education Summit in summer 2022.  Visit and click on the “education” tab.
  • Hawaii Online Portal for Education (HOPE), a distance learning teacher academy – During the summers of 2021 and 2022, cohorts of local teachers will work on developing Hawai‘i-focused online curriculum resources available to all educators in the state (coordinated through the University of Hawai‘i). For details, go to,“education” tab.
  • Next Steps to Your Future – UH is offering this free transition-to-college program for public high school juniors and seniors whose college career plans were impacted by the pandemic in 2020-2021. For details, go to

Read more in the June Capitol Connection newsletter.

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