The fiscal 2021 state budget includes $53 million for coronavirus prevention efforts in schools. These one-time grants were directed to school districts, charter schools and educational collaboratives.

The first half of the grant awards to districts were issued in February, with the second half scheduled for late April.

Applications were not required for this funding. Grant awards were determined using fiscal 2021 enrollment numbers (as of Oct. 1, 2019), and the formula used was a district’s total student enrollment multiplied by $25 plus the district’s low-income enrollment multiplied by $75.

Eligible uses for the funds include, but are not limited to, personal protective equipment, hygienic supplies, costs associated with socially distanced on-site learning, remote learning or hybrid approaches as determined by the district.

Recipients can use their funds for expenses required to ensure that low-income and other vulnerable students receive assistance and support that provides equal access to educational opportunities. This may include addressing access to technology, as well as mental and behavioral health resources.

Funds can be used to support eligible expenditures during fiscal 2021. Districts are advised to keep payments in a dedicated account for tracking and reporting purposes. Expenditures will be included as state grant expenditures on end-of-year reports.

More information, including a list of allocations per district and details on eligible expenses, can be found on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website. The DESE has also posted answers to frequently asked questions about the program.

Written by