Bay District Schools is receiving $24 million dollars for COVID-19 related expenses

Schools

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay District Schools was notified this week that they will be receiving $24 million in elementary and secondary school emergency relief funds, also known as ESSER 2 funds.

The district will be receiving this as part of the COVID Response and Relief Act.

The state also outlined what it can and cannot be spent on.

“None of these funds can be used to pay current employees’ salaries unless it is in summer school. We can’t do pay raises, because then it would be recurring and you’ve got documentation there that says we can’t do recurring,” said Superintendent Husfelt.

20% off the bat, goes to charter schools, totaling nearly 5.2 million.

The district has a plan for how the rest of the funds will be spent. The largest portion will go toward learning loss.

“Almost 10 million dollars of that will be addressing the largest part, helping the former Title 1 schools, MTSS which is students who have learning challenges, credit recovery.

There’s a lot of students that came late to school, they were fearful they stayed home and a lot of different things. A lot of students have issues and challenges going on at home. This is also big in bringing them back up to the level where we all want them to be, to be successful in school.” said Superintendent Husfelt.

5.2 million will go to mental health services and nursing support. 3.3 million dollars is for sanitizing and disinfecting as a COVID precaution.

“One of the things they encourage us to spend the funds on is HVAC systems because air quality is very important in this covid battle,” said Superintendent Husfelt.

The district also plans to use 1.4 million for additional custodial staff.

Superintendent Husfelt says that the money will not be sent to them ahead of time, that it is on a reimbursement basis.

The district does expect more money to come in the near future, as part of President Biden’s covid relief plan.

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