Federal funds released for school reopening. Ohio gets $3 billion

12 year old girl wearing a reusable, protective face mask in classroom while working on school work at her desk. Photo from Getty Images.

The U.S. Department of Education announced they would be releasing federal funds directed at school reopening.

Of the $81 billion being released to states as part of the latest stimulus relief fund, Ohio was slated to receive nearly $3 billion in funds made available Wednesday.

The funds add to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, from which states have received previous allocations in past relief packages.

In January, schools received $1.99 billion in ESSER Funds, 90% of which were directed to traditional school districts and community schools, and in May, $489 million CARES Act dollars were distributed to Ohio schools.

The rest of the funds provided through the American Rescue Plan (the latest stimulus bill) will be released “after states submit the plans they are developing and implementing for using ARP ESSER funds to safely reopen schools and meet the needs of students,” according to a release from the U.S. Department of Education.

Ohio will receive a total of $4.4 billion for its school reopening plans. A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Education said no specific allocation amounts have been established yet. The state has 60 days to do so, and plans to make them available “in the coming weeks.”

“It is, however, a good estimate to say that a school can expect something like 2.2 times what it received in the last round of federal funding,” said ODE spokesperson Lacey Snoke.

State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria expects the funds to “play a significant role” in making up for lost learning and school readiness.

“Schools and districts will have several years to use these funds, so they can also contribute to fundamental changes to education that can create even greater improvement and outcomes for students and our state,” DeMaria said in a statement.

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