Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Board of Ed February meeting: the budget

 Bell: funding schedule for SOA implementation
$198M "if you round up" increase in Ch. 70 aid 
especially for schools with high concentration of low income, for students learning English, with special ed needs
circuit breaker: increase the state's commitment
lowered reimbursement ceiling at which the state starts paying
along with funding transportation: increase of $22M in appropriation
increase of $26M in charter school tuition reimbursement
up about 2 1/2% increase in appropriation overall
$25M in Feb; $25M in April for state COVID aid
big news between first fed stimulus and subsequent COVID aid have made over $1B in ed grant aid to districts; formulaically distributed to districts, weighted to those with higher need students
much discussion of ESSER III coming through Congress
foundation charges increased also increased local contributions, so Gov allows municipalities to use district ESSER II grant funds towards their local contribution
"suffice to say there's been some confusion among municipal and school leaders"
"continue to have dialogue" with local districts on that
spending down first federal stimulus grants
award authority for emergency assistance to non-public schools from second stimulus

Stewart: long terms costs not only learning loss, but also reopening costs
what have you identified already?
Bell: not sure I have the answer to what is available
Stewart: mostly the buckets of what is need
State commitment to making resources available 
listing off what has been offered
Stewart: when you're looking at older schools and ventilation
Bell: theme is those with biggest need will be getting largest support

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