School Funding

Longview area schools formulate plans to use millions of federal funds | Education


Longview area school district leaders identify needs as they formulate plans to spend millions of dollars in federal stimulus funding.

The federal money is managed through a Texas Education Agency grant program called Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief. Schools must apply to the agency to receive funding and, according to the TEA, it will be spread over three years until September 30, 2024.

Longview ISD Deputy Superintendent of Finance Wayne Guidry said schools must spend local money and then apply for reimbursement through the TEA program.

LISD is expected to receive two allocations totaling around $ 19 million, and the district is still deciding on the best ways to spend the money.

“We are monitoring any new guidelines that TEA is issuing and applying these guidelines to our district so that we can use and optimize (federal) funds in the best possible way and complete our plan once these guideline updates are finalized,” said Guidry in a statement. declaration. “In the meantime, we have identified the needs and analyzed student data across the district, focusing on how best to support our students and teachers. “

Spring Hill CIO Superintendent Penny Fleet said her district expects $ 2.4 million over three years, adding that 20% of that must be spent to address educational gaps resulting from COVID-19 .

And some of that funding has already been allocated to provide a raise for summer school teachers. Spring Hill ISD’s board of directors approved salary increases from $ 25 an hour to $ 40 at its meeting this week.

As for the other plans, Fleet said that has not been decided. She said the district has sent out a survey for staff input, and it will be discussed with the school board.

Pine Tree ISD Superintendent Steve Clugston said his district expects about $ 9.1 million over three years.

“We have extended our summer school to six weeks and increased the summer school pay because it is sometimes difficult to find people to work all summer,” he said. “We put allowances in there for longer working days with the kids after school. We have set aside money to rehire retired teachers to work with children in small groups.

Most of these programs are for sanitation, he said. The district also added more linkages with parents, who also serve as at-risk coordinators. These positions provide a line of communication between the district and the homes and can help students get extra help when they need it.

Some federal funding could also be used to improve air ventilation and other facilities to help keep the air clean, Clugston said.

“Some of it is set aside to help improve some curriculum products and things of that nature,” he said. “But the vast majority are aiming to close that gap because of the learning loss that everyone has suffered.”

About $ 3.2 million over three years is expected at White Oak ISD, Superintendent Brian Gray said.

The district is looking at funding options and Gray said the board will hold its budget workshop on July 19, when further plans will be outlined.

“We will try to be wise about how (the money) will be used,” he said. “We will use it to have as much direct impact on students as possible. “


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