Faculties to obtain extra covid cash

FARMINGTON – The school district may receive nearly $ 746,000 from the Covid-19 aid package approved by Congress in December, according to Jon Laffoon, the schools’ superintendent.

According to Laffoon, the administration has already asked building owners and employees for feedback on how they can spend the money.

The money is part of a $ 900 billion federal package that provides nearly $ 82 billion nationwide for general education and higher education. The state of Arkansas is set to receive $ 558 million for school districts in the state from legislation known as the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Fund.

Similar to Coronavirus Aid, Aid, and Economic Security passed by Congress in March, the fund has eligible expenses that include food security, technology and systemic practices. The new legislation also provides facilities as an eligible cost for projects that would provide a safer environment for students and staff, such as air quality improvements.

Laffoon said new Chromebooks for college students and possibly for staff and maintenance uses like wipes, hand sanitizer, and sanitizer spray are some of the purchases the district would make with the money from the fund.

The board approved 10 days of emergency paid leave at its January meeting, and the new federal money can be used for those costs, Laffoon said. School staff can take up to 10 days of vacation if they have to miss school for qualified reasons. The Covid leave can also be used if a relative of an employee has received a quarantine or isolation order.

For the first semester, Laffoon said the district spent $ 34,000 on Covid vacations, excluding the cost of paying replacement teachers. He said the district plans to spend $ 75,000 to $ 100,000 on emergency leave for the second semester. The district’s new Covid Leave policy expires on June 30, 2021.

The district also has HVAC projects that could be paid for by the new federal money, Laffoon said.

Farmington received $ 200,000 from the CARES Act early in the 2020-21 school year and spent the money on personal protective equipment, maintenance, and technology. Laffoon said it didn’t take long before the $ 200,000 was gone.

Lynn Kutter can be reached via email at [email protected]

Lynn Kutter can be reached via email at [email protected]

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