School leaders learned an important part of piecing together this unprecedented pandemic school year Friday: how $130 million dollars of COVID-19 relief funding will be distributed to districts, according to the CT Association of Boards of Education.
An excel sheet has been posted on the state’s website, which breaks down the funding by district and personal related support.
“The good news is that we now know there will be $130 million of state support that is federal money that came into each of the states and the governor could make a determination as to how to best distribute these funds,” said Patrice McCarthy, the deputy director and general counsel for the CT Association of Boards of Education.
Dozens of districts who asked for help are getting assistance, many in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.
“So those will be distributed to our districts to support the costs of PPE, the additional cleaning that’s required, additional transportation costs, and for our neediest districts, 69 districts where more than 40% of students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, they will have a share of $60-million program to help support additional staff," said McCarthy.
"CREC is very thankful for the funding. It demonstrates the state’s commitment to supporting our efforts to stay open in a safe manner and meet the needs of children who want or need to return to in-person learning," said Capitol Region Education Council Superintendent Timothy Sullivan.
But advocates say it’s more than just districts that need to prepare; they’re asking for parents and guardians to pitch into getting students ready to wear masks and study from home, whatever their coronavirus schooling changes may be.
“Those protocols that are in place are not just for their own safety and welfare, but for all their friends and their teachers,” said McCarthy.
“I don’t like it, but we have to wear it for safety,” said soon-to-be sixth-grader Maria Gurvich of West Hartford about her mask.