Local school districts can receive federal dollars from American Rescue Plan

Local school districts can receive federal dollars from American Rescue Plan
Local school districts receive federal dollars from American Rescue Plan

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Schools all across the U.S are receiving federal help after being impacted by the pandemic.

As part of the American Rescue Plan, more than $120 billion are being allocated to U.S. schools, including the Jackson Public School District.

Assistant superintendent Dr. William Merritt said the district plans to use the funds to purchase more resources such as computers and laptops for students and educators.

The money would also provide professional development to staff members and improve learning programs for students who are struggling academically.

“It may be in the form of after-school, Saturday school, or an extended school day in addition to summer school,” said Merritt. “As with all federal money, we have to spend the money first, then we are reimbursed.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education, of the funds allocated through the American Rescue Plan, more than $1.6 billion are available for schools in the Magnolia State.

However, there are a number of factors when it comes to determining how much each district will receive.

“The funding is allocated with a formula, similar to what’s used for Title One allocations,” said chief academic officer for the Mississippi Department of Education, Dr. Nathan Oakley. “It goes particularly to schools with higher poverty rates, student population, number of students there, and then the districts have some wide discretion with the use of the funds.”

Oakley said MDE is encouraging districts to also look at using the funds to address students’ needs outside of the classroom.

“To consider social, emotional needs, to consider telehealth services that may be necessary,” said Oakley.

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