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Flint, MI— Nearly $100 million is coming to Flint Community Schools as part of the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March 2021.
Congressman Dan Kildee spoke to the Flint Board of Education about the funds during a June 9 committee meeting.
“The American Rescue Plan provides K-12 schools with funding to reopen safely and address learning loss. It invests nearly $130 billion dollars nationally to get kids back in the classroom and to catch up academically,” Kildee said.
Michigan will receive $3.7 billion, with $99 million going to Flint Schools, he said.
The amount each district receives is based on Title I funding, a weighted grant formula that gives districts extra dollars to support students in low-income families, those who are homeless, in foster care, or in juvenile facilities.
Funding is based on how many eligible children live within a district; not how many attend a particular school.
States must allocate the funding to districts within one year or risk forfeiting it, Kildee said.
“Michigan students, families cannot wait any longer for the Michigan legislature to act and the governor has made it clear that she will work with the Republican-led legislature to get these funds out the door to school districts as soon as possible,” Kildee said.
There is currently no “reasonable timetable for when the legislature will appropriate the funds,” Kevin Walters said, supervisor for the Office of Financial Management at the Michigan Department of Education.
One released, districts will have “broad authority” in how they will use the funds but must allocate 20% to address learning loss caused by the pandemic, Kildee said.
“This could include funding summer school, extended day, or after school programs, that’s really a determination of the local school district,” Kildee said.
According to the MDE, districts may also use the funds towards the following:
- Training and professional development on sanitization and minimizing the spread of diseases
- Repairing school facilities to prevent the transmission of viruses and environmental health hazards
- Improving indoor air quality
- Addressing the needs of low-income families, children with disabilities, non-English speakers, racial and ethnic minorities, and homeless and foster care youth
- Purchasing technology
- Providing mental health services to students, including the hiring of counselors
- Activities necessary to maintain school operations, like hiring staff and purchasing services
School districts are required to submit a plan to the state, explaining how they will use the funds and why they are eligible under the American Rescue Plan, Kildee said.
“These funds will be provided to districts as close as possible to the date they are needed to pay a contract or another expense,” Kildee said.
Districts will have until September 2024 to spend the funds.