Schools in Chattooga County will receive almost $1 million under a CARES Act program administered by the Georgia Department of Education. The allocated money is split between the two school districts in the area.
The announcement that Georgia public school districts will receive a combined $411,452,867 in COVID-19 relief funds was made Monday by the Georgia DOE.
Georgia applied for the funds through the Education Stabilization Fund Program Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – the federal stimulus aimed at COVID-19 relief. The State Board of Education approved State School Superintendent Richard Woods’ recommendation to accept the funds in a called meeting Monday.
Chattooga County Schools will receive $$820,811 and Trion City Schools will receive $173,557. For comparison, neighboring districts will receive:
- Dade County – $360,094
- Floyd County – $2,005,542
- Gordon County – $1,291,235
- Walker County – $2,227,663
“I am pleased that Georgia school districts will receive substantial funding through the CARES Act,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said in a press release. “My Department worked to apply for these funds as soon as they were announced, and we remain committed to getting the funds to districts as quickly as possible, as we know the need is immediate. We will continue to pursue all possible funding avenues to help our school districts through the COVID-19 crisis and the related economic downturn.”
The CARES Act funds are flexible in nature; districts can use them for a wide variety of efforts including distance/remote learning, school meals, supporting at-risk student populations, mental and physical health, supplemental learning, facilities/equipment, and maintaining continuity of core staff and services. The funds can be used to reimburse expenses retroactive to March 13, 2020, and do not expire until September 2022.
You can see the award amounts for other school districts in the state here.
NOTE: Important Information on Allocations
CARES Act allocations are based on Title I, Part A eligibility and funding. The law requires that school districts be granted an exact proportionate amount of their 2019-2020 Title I allocation – for example, if a district received 10 percent of Georgia’s Title I, Part A funding in 2019-2020, they must receive 10 percent of Georgia’s CARES Act allocations to school districts. GaDOE was required by law to use this funding formula for CARES Act allocations.
Every county and city school district in Georgia received Title I, Part A funds in 2019-2020 and will receive a CARES Act allocation. A few state charter schools declined Title I, Part A funds in 2019-2020 and are not eligible for a CARES Act allocation. GaDOE is exploring ways to ensure these districts receive funding through the portion of Georgia’s total allocation over which the agency has discretionary authority.