HUDSON, Iowa (KWWL) – The Iowa Department of Education announced last week the state is prepared to receive nearly $775 million in federal relief for Pre-K-12 schools.
90% or nearly $700 million of the $775 million will be available directly to school districts.
The amount is Iowa’s share of the more than $122.7 billion provided in the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. It’s part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law March 11.
The Iowa Department of Education says this is 10-Times the amount the state received a year ago through the CARES Act.
Hudson Schools Superintendent, Dr. Anthony Voss, says school districts aren’t sure yet on their dollar amount of relief they could be receiving.
“For a school like Hudson you’re knocking on the door of half-a-million dollars,” Dr. Voss said. “Right now it’s an open question, how much money exactly are we going to have available to us?”
The Iowa Department of Education is requiring districts to use some of the federal dollars for learning loss.
“We have to reserve 20% of that for mitigating learning loss, so that leaves us with a pretty substantial amount of money,” Dr. Voss said.
Hudson schools is planning for a June summer school program over the next three years. This is one of the district’s plans to combat learning loss.
“So what this money would be dedicated for is filling the gap of skill deficits with a summer school program or adding a teacher during the day,” Dr. Voss said.
Dr. Voss says the district would be required to use the money allocated to them by September of 2023
“We need to kind of be thinking of this in a three year process, three summers to get us where we need to be with these kids,” Dr. Voss said.
Dr. Voss says after COVID-19 measures are met, he hopes some funds are used for new ventilation at Hudson High School. However, this would require approval from the school board and the state.
There has not been word yet from the Iowa Department of Public Education on how the funds will be allocated.