Flint, MI—Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Flint Community Schools (FCS) has received multiple rounds of federal relief funding, and the Board of Education recently authorized millions of dollars in spending with its third installment.

The funding is known as Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, and is meant to support school districts’ response to COVID. The third round of ESSER dollars, or ESSER III, was passed as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Flint Schools’ ESSER III grant totals more than $99.4 million, and the Board has approved spending nearly $82.5 million of that total to date.

According to FCS documents, salaries and benefits account for the majority of that allocation thus far. Those line items add to more than a quarter of the district’s approved ESSER III spending at over $24.6 million.

The next highest spend is on supplies and materials, which amount to over $19.5 million, followed closely by purchased services at more than $18.3 million.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the ways in which Flint Schools has allocated its ESSER III funding: 

  • Salaries and benefits allocations for district staff include:
    • Special education staff: $1,072,500
    • Superintendent and assistant superintendent: $484,386
    • Principals and assistant principals: $1,800,000
    • Executive director of finance: $206,250
    • Grant procurement specialists: $86,750
    • Building & operations administrative assistant: $144,083
    • Executive director of human resources, human resource manager, administrative assistant and benefits manager: $381,092
    • COVID retention payment for staff: $8,662,500
    • Programmer analysts: $94,999
    • Community education compliance manager: $100,884
    • Athletic director: $46,200
    • Middle school teachers: $1,605,114
    • High school teachers: $2,844,910
    • Director of student services, student services specialists and coordinator: $63,360
    • Enrollment specialists: $26,285
    • Elementary school teachers: $5,600,000
    • Stipends for mentors supporting students in virtual school: $693,000
    • School guidance counselors: $429,000
    • Librarian: $110,784
    • Extra duty stipends for directors/administrators and administrative assistants: $80,850
    • Extra duty stipends for data technicians and programmers: $99,000

  • Supplies and materials include:
    • Intercom systems: $360,000
    • Supplies and materials for students experiencing homelessness: $15,000
    • Educational technology for students: $5,022,500
    • Furniture: $4,240,015
    • Supplies and materials for social distancing and sanitation: $900,000
    • Technology for central office staff: $30,000
    • Classroom supplies: $1,300,000
    • Library books: $5,720,000
    • Math and science curriculum: $1,950,000
    • Supplies and materials for educational outreach: $20,000

  • Purchased services include:
    • Contracted services for medical staff: $864,000
    • Supplies for social distancing and sanitation: $400,000
    • Internet hotspot for students: $504,000
    • Technological service for IT department: $29,335
    • Computers for principals and assistant principals: $36,800
    • Contracted services for after-school vendors: $825,000
    • Contracted services for special education staff: $600,000
    • Services to increase the efficiency of business services and support: $500,000
    • Contracted services for school secretaries and clerks: $450,000
    • Contracted phone and communication services: $1,000,000
    • Heating, electrical, water and sewer services: $2,899,992
    • Custodial services: $1,920,000
    • Contracted transportation costs: $1,800,000
    • Contracted technological services for activities to maintain the district’s information technology systems: $1,000,000
    • Service to host online meetings: $13,402
    • Technology to support improved internet connection: $250,000
    • Guest teachers: $2,737,600
    • Math and science online curricular resources: $160,000 
    • Service for mobile network operator: $12,965 
    • Annual Zoom license: $6,000 
    • Contracted architect services and project manager: $2,000,000 
    • Contracted services for teacher and administration professional development: $300,000 

  • Capital outlays include:
    • Contracted services for roof repairs and assessments to prevent leaks and water infiltration: $3,107,589
    • Services to improve schools’ prevention of virus transmission: $14,581,000

Other expenditures include indirect costs as well as tuition for Virtual School students, which collectively total a little above $2.29 million.

Aside from outlining ESSER III allocation, district documents show that FCS has spent over $12.3 million of the grant as of Oct. 31, 2022. Overall, Flint Schools’ installments of ESSER funds amount to more than $155 million.

Nicholas Chan

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...