CARES Act funds

The Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School District will use the nearly $3.5 million received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for a variety of purposes, including technological upgrades and cleaning supplies.

Superintendent Dr. Mary Brown said the federal money will help pay for the district’s online learning management system, Canvas; hot spots and internet connectivity for students and staff; and supplies and other essentials to clean and sanitize the buildings. The disinfecting supplies include hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, face shields, thermometers, touchless temperature kiosks and air purifiers.

The district will also be allocating funds to participating in-district private schools. Delta Streets Academy will receive about $61,000, North New Summit School around $28,800 and St. Francis of Assisi School about $53,400.

According to guidelines laid out by the U.S. Department of Education in June, local education agencies must calculate the emergency funds available for providing equitable services to students and teachers in private schools.

“Most private schools serving low- and middle-income communities are under great financial strain due to COVID-19 because they are typically dependent on tuition from families and donations from their communities,” a release from the department stated.

“There is no reasonable explanation for debating the use of federal funding to serve both public and private K-12 students when federal funding, including CARES Act funding, flows to both public and private higher education institutions,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said.

Leflore Legacy Academy, the county’s new charter school, received around $112,000 to assist with its inaugural year. Dr. Tamala Boyd Shaw, executive director of the school, said the money will mostly be used for the building and staff’s safety precautions.  “Cleaning supplies and PPE (personal protective equipment) — those things are top of the list for us,” she said.

Shaw also said she hopes to use some of the funds to improve the school’s technological practices for continued social distancing.

The Carroll County School District received about $299,000. Administrators there could not be reached for comment.

Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or Twitter: @AdamBakst_GWCW0

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