Thanks to $1.6 billion in funding approved by the General Assembly for North Carolina Public Schools, Senator Jim Perry and Representative John Bell announced that Wayne County Public Schools is now eligible for up to $24,866,346 in assistance as part of recent COVID-19 relief efforts.
Last week, the state announced the projected LEA allotments. Local school systems must apply for grants from earmarked funds from the Emergency Needs for Elementary and Secondary Schools of the State (ESSER II Funds).
Senator Perry stated, “Learning loss has been devastating for our children. This is an additional 25 million dollars for Wayne County to help address issues faced by students and schools in our communities. God Bless all of the people working hard to keep our children moving forward.”
House Majority Leader, John Bell offered, “The last year has been hard on everyone, but our children are the ones least equipped to cope with these struggles. This latest round of funding will bring us well over $31 million that has been provided to WCPS since the beginning of the pandemic to provide the assistance our community needs.”
Some authorized use of funding includes:
- School facility repairs and improvements to enable operation of schools to reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards.
- Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software and connectivity) for students to aid in regular and substantive interaction between students and their classroom instructors (including low-income and disabled students), which may include assistive technology or adaptive equipment.
- Training and professional development for staff pertaining to sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
- Purchasing sanitation and cleaning supplies of school facilities.
- Addressing learning loss among students, including low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care.
- Develop and implementing procedures and systems to improve preparedness and response efforts.
- Providing mental health services and supports. Planning and implementing summer learning and supplemental after school program activities, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months.
- Inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, replacement, and upgrade projects to improve the indoor air quality in school facilities, including mechanical and non-mechanical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, filtering, purification and other air cleaning, fans, control systems, and window and door repair and replacement.