- Students in New Mexico's Title I schools, including those in tribally controlled areas, will have access to 1:1 online tutoring services through a nearly $3.3 million investment funded with federal COVID-19 Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds, said Kelly Pearce, deputy communications director for the state’s Public Education Department.
- Up to 20 hours of free and virtual tutoring services are available to students in grades pre-K through 8, the department said. Virtual tutoring company Paper Education Inc. is providing the statewide tutoring services, which can be scheduled before, during or after school.
- Beginning in January, the department will also launch its New Mexico Math Tutoring Corps in partnership with Saga Education, providing virtual services to 524 Algebra I students statewide, Pearce said. Students in the 14-week tutoring program must participate in at least three 45 minute sessions per week after school and on the weekends.
Following the October release of National Assessment of Educational Progress data, COVID-19’s negative impact on learning loss in math and reading has become more apparent as districts and states look to tutoring as one of several tools to take on the issue.
During the 2021-22 school year, more than 98% of schools implemented strategies to support learning recovery from the pandemic, according to the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education. High-dosage tutoring was one of the most common tools for taking on learning loss, with 56% of schools using it, NCES said. That model can vary between a virtual or in-person approach.
Individualized tutoring has long been difficult for low-income students to access, but districts and states are now tapping into federal COVID-19 relief dollars to provide these services to more children. In New Mexico, 178,521 students will be eligible to receive up to 20 hours of free online tutoring, according to Pearce.
“We know that tutoring can help close gaps for our students who are struggling to master concepts in classrooms alone,” said New Mexico Secretary of Education Kurt Steinhaus in a statement. “This investment in customized support will serve our students efficiently and with immediacy.”
New Mexico is not the only state providing widespread support to tutor students online. In 2022, Oklahoma launched a $5 million virtual math tutoring program. After the spring pilot of the math tutoring program wrapped up, a survey by the Oklahoma Department of Education found 90% of participating students increased their understanding of math.
A key appeal for states and districts to pick up a virtual tutoring program is it can be more affordable than in-person services. However, a study analyzing an online tutoring pilot program that ran in the spring of 2021 in Illinois found the virtual tutoring program produced less significant results than in-person tutoring. Even so, the study suggested with more tutoring hours, there could be more success with an online model.
There’s also been a large federal push for high-dosage tutoring, especially as the White House called in July for an additional 250,000 tutors and mentors to step up and help students recover from pandemic-related learning loss.