COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Education announced it will provide more than $84 million to the state’s school districts and special schools to support reopening efforts.
The agency will send $84,264,890 in additional federal Coronavirus Relief Fund money to be used for four four specific purposes: safety measures and personal protective equipment; hiring of school nurses; hiring of staff to provide one-on-one instruction and support services for struggling students; and technology equipment to support online learning, SCDE spokesman Ryan Brown said.
The funding will be allocated to districts per pupil beginning this week with an additional weighting applied to support students in poverty, he said.
“Our teachers, nurses, and school staff have gone above and beyond to support students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said. “These funds are to be used to maintain and support their efforts to welcome additional students back safely for face to face instruction and meet the needs of those that are struggling both online and in the classroom.”
Tri-County districts will receive a total of $11 million, according to a release from SCDE. Here is the breakdown for Lowcountry counties:
The funding was provided to the SCDE through the General Assembly as part of the CARES Act and may be used for expenditures incurred between July 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021 for the following activities as approved by the South Carolina General Assembly:
- School safety measures taken in response to COVID-19 including, but not limited to, the purchase of masks, gloves, wipes, hand sanitizer, face shields, cleaning solution, Plexiglass, and other cleaning equipment and supplies;
- Hire or contract for school nurse services for those schools that do not have a full-time school nurse;
- Tutoring, supplemental services, and support services to include services for unengaged students, interventionists, and after school learning extensions that prioritize face-to-face instruction focused on students with identified reading or math difficulties, and students with IEPs to address deficits resulting from COVID-19; and
- Technology purchases of devices and connectivity equipment to support online learning resulting from COVID-19.
Districts must report quarterly on the use of CRF funds to the SCDE.
The agency previously allocated $194 million in CARES Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding to districts to cover a broader range of COVID-19-related costs between March 13 and Sept. 20, Brown said.
The SCDE also purchased nearly $50 million in personal protective equipment and safety supplies for all school districts in the state.