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South Carolina schools getting $84M to aid reopening efforts

The funding will be allocated to districts per pupil beginning the week of Dec. 14.
The funding will be allocated to districts per pupil beginning the week of Dec. 14.((Source: Pixabay))
Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 11:42 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Education will provide more than $84 million to the state’s public school districts and special schools to support reopening efforts.

The agency will send $84,264,890 in additional federal Coronavirus Relief Fund money to be used for four specific purposes: safety measures and personal protective equipment; hiring of school nurses; hiring of staff to provide one-on-one instruction and support services for struggling students; and technology equipment to support online learning, department spokesman Ryan Brown said.

The funding will be allocated to districts per pupil beginning the week of Dec. 14, with an additional weighting applied to support students in poverty, he said.

“Our teachers, nurses, and school staff have gone above and beyond to support students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said. “These funds are to be used to maintain and support their efforts to welcome additional students back safely for face to face instruction and meet the needs of those that are struggling both online and in the classroom.”

The department listed how much each district will get in its release. Here is the breakdown for CSRA counties:

Total allocation for each CSRA district.
Total allocation for each CSRA district.((Source: SC Department of Education))

The funding was provided through the General Assembly as part of the CARES Act and may be used for expenditures incurred between July 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021 for the following activities, as approved by the state legislature:

  • School safety measures taken in response to COVID-19 including, but not limited to, the purchase of masks, gloves, wipes, hand sanitizer, face shields, cleaning solution, Plexiglass, and other cleaning equipment and supplies.
  • Hire or contract for school nurse services for those schools that do not have a full-time school nurse.
  • Tutoring, supplemental services, and support services to include services for unengaged students, interventionists, and after school learning extensions that prioritize face-to-face instruction focused on students with identified reading or math difficulties, and students with IEPs to address deficits resulting from COVID-19.
  • Technology purchases of devices and connectivity equipment to support online learning resulting from COVID-19.

Districts must report quarterly on the use of the funds.

The agency previously allocated $194 million in CARES Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding to districts to cover a broader range of COVID-19-related costs between March 13 and Sept. 20, Brown said.

The department also purchased nearly $50 million in personal protective equipment and safety supplies for all school districts in the state.

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