Flint, MI—The Flint Community Schools Board of Education will vote Feb. 16 on how to spend about $66 million in COVID-19 relief funds.

That’s about two thirds of the incoming $99 million the school is set to receive. The plan, district officials say, is to allocate the monies based on suggestions by community members.

The COVID relief dollars for schools, better known as Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds, or ESSER, are part of a federal plan to address the impact that COVID has had, and continues to have, on education. 

The $99 million is the third installment of ESSER funding. The district has already received approximately $54 million. Once all payments are complete, Flint schools will have received around $153 million in COVID relief dollars.

The district has conducted nine community forums since November 2021 where Flint residents weighed in on how they’d like to see the incoming $99 million spent. 

Now that the data has been collected, the district plans to move forward and submit an application to the State of Michigan to release a portion of the funds. 

Newly elected Assistant Superintendent Keiona Murphy presented the district’s plan and community data to the Board of Education Feb. 9. 

Administrators proposed an initial spend totaling $66, 235, 238 on the following:

  • Salary and benefits of staff- $24,632,947
  • Internet, custodial, transportation, online curricular resources- $12,298,702
  • Virtual school tuition – $360,000
  • Supplies and materials – $9,325,000
  • Indirect costs – $1,931,000
  • Capital outlay – $17,688,589 

“This is just our opportunity to let the community know, to let you all know, where the data came from, where their feedback came from in regard to doing this application,” Murphy said. 

Murphy said that though the community data has yet to be analyzed, survey responses show a strong preference for more teachers and support staff as well as summer enrichment programs. 

The ESSER application is due Feb. 19. The board will take a formal vote Feb. 16. 

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...