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The Minnesota Department of Education approved St. Paul Public Schools’ plan to spend $207 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds, the school district announced Monday.
Schools nationwide received more than $100 billion through the American Rescue Plan Act to implement COVID-19 safety measures, help students make up for lost learning time and address the pandemic’s effects on student mental health. The one-time funds must be spent by September 2024.
St. Paul plans to spend the largest portion of its funds — $90 million — on academic support for students. That will include hiring one or two new math and reading teachers at all K-8 schools and creating more after school and summer programs and college and career readiness programs, according to St. Paul Public Schools.
The district will also spend nearly $65 million on cleaning, building maintenance and school health workers. Another $11.5 million will go toward specialized support for students with disabilities, students learning English, Native American students and other groups hit hardest by the pandemic.
St. Paul Public Schools will dedicate $9.7 million to equity efforts, including creating a districtwide equity plan and working on recruiting and retaining teachers of color. The district will also use $8 million to boost mental health staffing and programs.
The American Rescue Plan Act was the largest source of COVID-19 relief funding for public schools. St. Paul Public Schools received a total of $334 million in federal aid during the pandemic.
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