Undercurrent

Feds approve Nevada’s $1.07 billion K-12 federal relief plan

By: - September 13, 2021 1:42 pm

(Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash)

Nevada’s plan to spend $1.07 billion in covid federal relief money on its K-12 system received approval Monday, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Nevada was allocated $1.07 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) money as part of the American Rescue Plan in March. Two-thirds of that money — $715 million — was distributed that same month, with the remainder — $358 million — set to be distributed only after the federal department had approved its spending plans.

That approval came Monday. Also approved were state plans for Idaho, Maine and North Carolina. So far, 37 ARP ESSER state plans have been approved by the federal government since June. Altogether, ARP included $122 billion in support for K-12 systems across the country.

Nevada’s 74-page spending plan can be found here. It prioritizes “social, emotional and mental health” of students and educators, addressing interrupted learning and “recruiting, supporting and retaining effective educators,” according to a fact sheet compiled by the U.S. DOE.

Specifics include $10.7 million for after-school programs and $7.5 million for hiring 100 additional school-based mental health professionals. Both of those efforts are being handled by the Nevada Department of Education.

Much of the federal relief money is going directly to school districts.

As the largest district in the state by far, Clark County School District has been allocated the lion’s share of ARP ESSER funds at $778 million. The Clark County School Board last week approved its initial spending plan, which is summarized here.

CCSD plans to spend $533 million of that on “student success” initiatives, including expanding pre-k availability, offering six-week summer career courses and updating technology and instructional materials.

Another $218 million is set aside for COVID-19 mitigation, which includes testing and vaccine support, the expanded summer school programs offered earlier this year, and operations costs like disinfecting buses.

An additional $11 million will be spent on reducing the barrier to entry to becoming an educator and improving career pathways for existing educators; and $9 million is set aside for “supporting parents and the community,” including the launching of a data transparency and accountability dashboard.

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April Corbin Girnus
April Corbin Girnus

April Corbin Girnus is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. She has been a beat writer at Las Vegas Sun, a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting North American bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise with her husband, two children and two mutts.

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