Trousdale County’s school district is waiting to see what it will receive in federal relief funds as part of the recently passed stimulus package.
H.R. 748, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security Act” (CARES Act), includes $30.75 billion nationally for Education Stabilization Funding as part its $2 trillion package in emergency relief in response to COVID-19.
Tennessee is expected to receive around $260 million of that funding, according to Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. The funding is designed to go toward expenses related to, and education gaps resulting from, school closures. That includes technology to support remote learning, programs to address learning gaps and essential health services.
Director of Schools Clint Satterfield said it was too soon to know exactly how much funding local districts could expect to receive.
“The actually amount may not sound as good as the $260 million number being rolled, as the funding will be based off the district’s present Title I funding formula. The TDOE says that 90% of school districts will receive less than $400 per student and 68% of school districts will receive less than $300 per student.”
The Tennessee Department of Education has released a public survey seeking feedback from all stakeholders on the most effective ways to help school districts address immediate needs.
Satterfield said Trousdale County Schools had already completed that survey.
“The TDOE will submit an application on April 17 and then we may get funds within 30 days,” he said. “These funds are to be used for student remediation to catch students up due to loss learning and/or to purchase one-time structural needs to support distance learning in case something like this happens again.
“I don’t know what we will get but we are certainly concerned about the loss of learning and expanding digital learning in the future that seems logical to plan around. The key challenge for us is broadband access or lack of it.”
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributing: Staff reports