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State to receive additional $5.5 billion in federal funding for schools

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Texas is set once again to receive another round of federal funding from the $54.3 billion allocated for K-12 education from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA). Texas’ share of the funding in this allocation is $5.5 billion.

Although the amount each Texas school district will receive from the funding and how it will be spent is still unknown, local school districts are already poring over possible projects the money might fund at their schools.

Texas was awarded $1.3 billion during the first round of CRRSAA funding. The federal monies are intended to provide principals and other school leaders with resources to address the needs of their own schools and help students recover from the COVID pandemic. A formula is used to determine how and to whom the funds will be allocated.

Because that formula has yet to be put in place, school officials have plenty of time to plan projects that meet the qualifications of the program. Although that formula is based on the same model for distribution of Title 1 funds, school officials are not bound to having to use the money for Title 1 programs. Thus, their allocation could possibly include anything from educational technology needs such as hardware, software, and connectivity, to improving school facilities to support student health needs, and improve air quality.

One far-reaching provision of the program is that the funding is designed to provide principals and other school leaders with the resources necessary to address the needs of their individual schools. That could conceivably include projects for infrastructure, educational programs, transportation needs and more.

However, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Education Commissioner Mike Morath will have the final say on distribution of the federal dollars and how they can be spent.

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