Iredell County public schools will receive $696,832 of supplemental funds to support additional expenditures related to COVID-19, a news release from State Sen. Vickie Sawyer’s office stated.
“This pandemic has had serious financial ramifications for everyone in our community. These supplemental funds are a way to provide some immediate assistance to pay workers in our school systems like bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and custodians during this difficult time,” Sawyer said.
Iredell-Statesville Schools Superintendent Brady Johnson said that I-SS is grateful for the funds and the quick response to the impact that COVID-19 has had on local schools.
“These emergency funds will be used to help offset the cost of our emergency meals program, transportation, emergency child care and to support our distance learning plan. Without these funds, the school board would have been required to use local fund balance to defer the expenses associated with COVID-19. This is an example of exemplary leadership on the part of our legislatures,” Johnson said.
Mooresville Graded School District’s share of the money is $205,823, said Tanae Sump-McLean, chief communication officer at MGSD.
“MGSD will be utilizing our funds to help offset the costs associated with continuing to serve our families during the COVID-19 school closure,” Sump-McLean said.
She said these expenses include school nutrition costs for the district’s meal distribution during this time, as well as the cleaning and sanitizing of schools and buses. She also said that MGSD would look at using it for costs associated with their remote learning plan.
Funding comes from $38.5 million from the 2019-2020 Summer Camp Reading funds and an additional $2.97 million left over from the same fund from the previous year. $5.48 million is from the statewide carry forward reserve, and a little more than $3 million is from the State Emergency Disaster Reserve, the news release from Sawyer’s office stated.
Funding for Iredell County Public Schools is based upon a formula that is weighted 50% on the number of students and 50% on low wealth classification.
The funding can be used for school nutrition including food purchases, cafeteria workers, drivers and nutritional admin support.
The funds can also be used for cleaning and sanitizing schools and buses including custodial pay, material and supplies.
The funds also allow for covering costs associated with protective equipment and remote learning.
These include remote learning expenses such as instructional software, telecommunication expenses, learning material and devices.
School systems should begin receiving funding later this week, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction reported.
“I’m grateful for this piece of good news in one aspect of our community. However, we can’t look past the many other individuals, small businesses and families in our community that are still hurting and scared in the face of uncertainty. My office will continue to provide updates and information to ensure people in our community have the most up-to-date information,” Sawyer said.