MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The St. Paul Public Schools Board of Education Tuesday night approved a plan for spending more than $200 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds.
The board said its plan has four priorities for spending $207 million in American Rescue Plan funding over the next three years: safely reopen schools, address unfinished learning, build “lasting, equitable systems of teaching and learning” and support social emotional needs.READ MORE: 5 People Injured In House Explosion In Cambridge
“We believe the strategies we are proposing will help us reach our goals as a district,” Superintendent Joe Gothard said, “and we are committed to monitoring their progress and making necessary adjustments to ensure every dollar is being spent to equitably meet the needs of our students, families, staff and community at large.”
Of the $207 million, about $88 million is going to what the board calls “high-quality education.” That includes $24.5 million in direct funding to schools, $23 million for core reading and math instruction, $17 million in professional development for teachers and more.
About $67 million will go towards making schools safe, including $42.3 million towards building maintenance cleaning. Fifteen million dollars will be set aside for COVID-19 contingency funds. The district will put $700,000 towards transportation, which includes route incentives for bus drivers to address the ongoing shortage.
More than $11 million is being allocated to “targeted student services” like special education and multilingual learning. Another $11 million will go toward family services and community partnerships.READ MORE: Pedestrian Injured After Being Struck In Uptown Minneapolis
The district has allocated nearly $10 million for “systemic equity,” half of which will be used to develop and implement a “district equity plan.”
Eight million dollars will be used to support mental health services and social emotional learning.
Districts are required to reserve 20% of the funds to address “learning loss.”
The district said it took more than 11,00 responses from students, families, teachers and other school staff into account when developing the plan.MORE NEWS: 12-Year-Old Hurt In St. Paul Shooting; Investigation Underway
You can read the full plan here.