ALBANY,N.Y. (NEWS10)–At the State Education Department in Albany, Governor Kathy Hochul announced $108 million dollars in grants to help kids with learning loss from pandemic.

“$100 million will be going directly to school districts and BOCES to hire more teachers specializing in managing and counteracting learning loss, because we have to stop the hemorrhaging there. Also, pinpoint where students are falling behind getting them special assistance to get caught up,” explained Hochul.

Of this money, $8.3 million will be going towards helping students with their mental health.

“It’s not something you expected growing up, most of you, that you would need a mental health professional in school— but school districts now need this,” said Hochul. “It’s now as basic as having a reading and writing teacher.”

The money will help expand school based mental health clinics across the state, so students can address trauma the pandemic caused

“The academic slide is completely compounded by the loss, the isolation, the lack of socialization during COVID ,and really the middle school and the teens have really suffered with that,” explained Assemblymember Pat Fahy.

The New York United Teachers Union is happy school districts will be receiving more funding.

“These grants are going to allow districts to hire more staff,” said NYSUT President, Melinda Person. “So we can identify student needs before it becomes a crisis.”