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How did Alexandria Public Schools spend COVID-19 money?

District’s website now provides details.

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A new section on the Alexandria Public Schools website details how much COVID-19 support funds the district received and how the money has been or will be spent. The money, which came from three major funding sources, totals about $7 million.

Parents or community members can find the info at www.alexschools.org/Page/7271.

Trevor Peterson, director of business services for the school district, provided an update about the funds during the Alexandria School Board’s regular meeting Monday, Jan. 24.

Three different acts – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act; the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act; and the America Rescue Plan Act – provided the majority of the funds.

Peterson said the CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020, provided $2.2 trillion in federal economic relief and that the total allotted amount for Alexandria Public Schools was a little more than $1.4 million.

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Trevor Peterson
Trevor Peterson

The CARES Act money was divided into three major sources of funding for the school district, including the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund ($43,805), Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER I) fund ($337,098) and the Coronavirus Relief Fund ($1.05 million).

All of the money provided to the school district must be spent by certain dates, as dictated by the funding source. For instance, Coronavirus Relief Fund money needed to be spent by Dec. 31, 2020, whereas the ESSER I funds had to be used up by Sept. 30, 2022.

As of Jan. 17, 100% of the CARES Act funds have been spent, said Peterson.

Here’s a breakdown of how the money was used:

  • Distance learning salaries and benefits – $195,394.
  • COVID-related wages and benefits – $143,502.
  • Teacher prep time requirements – $93,463.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) – $215,089.
  • Instructional supplies – $140,251.
  • Technology equipment and devices – $413,788.
  • Cleaning and general supplies – $131,955.
  • Cleaning and general equipment – $98,586.

The CRRSA Act, which amounted to $81.88 billion in support for education, included ESSER II funds. The CRRSA Act was signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020. Alexandria Public School Schools received $1.4 million, which must be spent by Sept. 30, 2023.
A little more than half – $711,145 – has been spent as of Jan. 17. Here’s how most of that money was spent:

  • COVID-related wages and benefits – $501,727
  • Online learning options – $31,985
  • Instructional supplies and field trips – $36,090
  • Revenue recovery – $95,675
  • Technology equipment and devices – $26,097
  • Cleaning, general supplies and PPE – $19,569

The ARP Act, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, provided $1.3 billion to help schools return to and maintain safe, in-person learning for all students.
The funds were divided into multiple sources of funding for school districts, including the Individuals with Disabilities Act; summer academic and mental health support; homeless children and youth; ESSER III; additional adult basic education funding; and lost instructional time.

Alexandria Public Schools received a total of $3.6 million through the ARP Act. As of Jan. 17, the district has spent about $31,910.

They have plans for the ESSER III funds, which amounts to about $3.1 million. About 20% – $629,131 – will be used for learning recovery, including additional staff, summer school activities and student experiences.

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The other 80% – $2.5 million – is earmarked for HVAC upgrades (installing cooling systems) at Discovery Middle School and Garfield Elementary School.

Other COVID funding allocations, coming from a few other sources, amounted to about $465,812.

Peterson said the district plans to update the website about once a month to reflect any changes in how much money has been spent and where it has been used.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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