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Huntsville City Schools using CARES Act funds for $1.9 million consulting contract

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 9:47 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Schools around Alabama are trying to bounce back from the effects of the pandemic.

We’ve learned one Valley school district has hired a consulting team to get students back on track, but for a hefty price.

The Huntsville City Schools Board of Education has approved a roughly $2 million contract with the company, the Bailey Educational Group.

According to its website, The Bailey Group has a team of educational experts that work with teachers to improve student performance.

$1.9 million is the bill Huntsville City Schools will pay for a consulting firm.

Craig Williams, the chief communications officer for Huntsville City Schools says the investment is worth it.

“Our charge was to use that money to help students. So here at Huntsville City Schools, we thought one of the best ways to do that would be by investing in the Bailey Group,” Williams said.

Williams tells us the district is paying the Bailey Group from its share of CARES Act funds.

The district got $26 million total.

“We want to go pedal to the medal to help students recover post-pandemic, help address any unfinished learning gaps and help move forward in a positive way,” he explained.

And the work has already begun.

“They’re going to begin the process by doing a firm, hard look at the data. And that’s going to be a look at every school’s data, taking a look at where schools are thriving and where schools have room for improvement,” Williams said.

Williams says educational experts with the company will travel to the districts’ schools to work with teachers.

“There’s also a focus on empowering and teaching teachers on the best ways to deliver educational instruction,” he said.

William Tunnell with the Alabama Education Association is hopeful the agreement will bring real value to the district that lasts.

“We’re hopeful that good will come from this. But that’s a very expensive contract, I must admit. I would hope that this next year the district will be making investments in their staff, in their resources and within their administration to make up what we missed last year. The faster we can get our students back on track, the better off our entire state will be,” William Tunnell said.

The contract with the Bailey Educational Group is for the 2021-2022 school year.

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