Local schools react to release of billions in education funding

Local schools react to release of billions in education funding

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - On Wednesday, $11.2 billion dollars in federal funds were released to help Texas public schools with learning losses and costs due to the pandemic.

Nacogdoches ISD Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo says the effects of the pandemic have taken its toll on students, faculty and staff.

SOT: “We have kids further behind than they’ve ever been before. The tremendous and immeasurable side will be the emotional toll that this has taken on our kids. (Trujillo)

These one-time funds are intended to support a comprehensive learning recovery effort in Texas over the next three years. Due to federal requirements, two-thirds of the funds are available immediately under grants administered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), with the final one-third to be distributed contingent upon approval by the U.S. Department of Education.

According to the TEA, the total allocation amount for Nacogdoches ISD is 24.7 million dollars.

SOT: “These funds will be tremendous for the acceleration of learning for some of our students, intervention of learning from other students and for all the students that are in between.” We will be looking at how will we meet the needs of our dual language kids, special education students that we have in the district, the confidence of pre-kindergarten coming in and setting a strong foundation of learning.” (Trujillo)

SOT: “West Sabine is one of the lowest funding schools in the state. // Rural school don’t have the resources that urban schools have. (Gilder)

The total allocation for West Sabine ISD in Sabine County is 1.3 million dollars.

Superintendent Cornelius Gilder says their district will look at ways to make up for attendance losses and get kids back in school.

SOT: “That brick and mortar visitation is critical for their lives. We have to make sure that we’re not just taking care of learning loss, but the learning gains, that opportunity that was missed as well. We’re going to take some time to work on our middle of the road, kids who are economically disadvantaged, as well as those who are gifted because we need to make sure we are meeting our goals.” (Gilder)

To view how much each Texas public school district received from the ARP Act, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Grant, click here.

This federal funding builds upon the roughly $2.2 billion in federal funding already allocated to Texas to help public schools respond to COVID-19.

More funds for Texas public schools will be coming soon. As part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation (CRRSA) Act passed by Congress, Texas was allotted more than $5 billion in funds for public education.

As the Texas Education Agency is working with the Department of Education, the State will continue to support school districts as they have over the past year. That includes holding the districts harmless for decreases in enrollment, funding learning devices through Operation Connectivity, and reimbursing school districts for their COVID-19 related costs during the spring 2020 semester.

WebXtra: Local schools react to funds

Copyright 2021 KTRE. All rights reserved.