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SC public schools gain access to federal COVID relief funds

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 7:41 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina public schools are receiving a historic amount of money after congress passed the American Rescue Plan in March.

On Monday, South Carolina public schools could receive a share of the American Rescue Plan funding that congress passed in March. South Carolina is allotted $2.1 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds.

Districts will not be able to access these funds until they submit their plans for how they will spend the money. Dorchester District Two and the Charleston County School District both say they are working on their plans for submittal.

August 24 is the deadline for districts to submit their plans to receive this third round of assistance. While 66% of the funding will be from the federal government, South Carolina Department of Education Chief Communications Officer Ryan Brown says the American Rescue Plan requires that state education agencies also submit a state application to receive the remaining third of funding.

Berkeley County School District’s 2/3 allocation is $48 million. Charleston County’s is about $108.6 million and Dorchester District Two’s is approximately $27 million.

Brown says 20% of these funds must be used by districts to address learning loss through evidence-based interventions, like summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year programs.

Districts must not only prove that the programs respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs, but Brown says they also need to address the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on certain student subgroups.

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