How 11 Clark, Champaign school districts spent their COVID-19 relief funds

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

The federal government provided three rounds of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to school districts across the nation.

The first ESSER I round had to be spent by Sept. 30, 2022. The deadline to spend ESSER II money is Sept. 30, 2023, and the third round has to be spent by Sept. 30, 2024.

Schools in Clark and Champaign counties collectively received more than $76 million in federal COVID relief funds since the beginning of the pandemic.

>> As COVID relief money ends, what’s next for Clark, Champaign schools?

Some districts also received money for specific uses like helping homeless students or providing broadband, but the ESSER money accounts for the largest share of pandemic-related federal aid to schools.

Here is how much money 11 local school districts received and what they spent the funds on.

Clark-Shawnee Local Schools

Received $3,922,261 in COVID relief funds.

Used for: additional technology staff, academic tutors, new curriculum and resources to support student instruction, extended summer learning opportunities, internet devices and hotspots, additional furniture to provide social distancing, HVAC upgrades and preventative maintenance, nursing services, additional custodial services and equipment, additional food service staff, personal protective equipment, air purifiers, new water building and water filtration system, middle and high school bathroom upgrades.

Graham Local Schools

Received $2,751,267 in COVID relief funds.

Used for: updating air filters, adding water bottle fountain fillers, updating outdoor learning areas, updated curriculum and adaptive learning resources, Chromebook devices and routers to families with no internet access.

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Greenon Local Schools

Received $2,894,717 in COVID relief funds.

Used for: sanitization, disinfecting wipes and cleaners, desk partitions, nurse training, virtual learning subscriptions, computers, docking stations, document cameras, summer school programs and in-school tutor items such as supplies, staff, transportation and food service, stipends for supplemental staffing, mental health therapists and services, software, chair, bleachers and floor covering, bi-polar ionization to increase air quality, wastewater treatment system upgrades and improvements to the drinking water system at the athletic complex, replacement and addition of window, wall and floor scrubber equipment, vape detection systems, custodial equipment, carpet rugs, additional teachers and aids, tutoring support, counseling services and a special education teacher.

Northeastern Local Schools

Received $3.4 million in COVID relief funds.

Used for: online educational software, replacing lost revenues in the food service, athletic departments and latchkey, instructional resources, staff and resources, summer school and buses.

Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools

Received $1,160,855 in COVID relief funds.

Used for: additional staff, a small group reading instructor, a student success coordinator, instructional supplies including Chromebooks, cleaning supplies, a bus and COVID prevention supplies such as masks and desk barriers.

Northwestern Local Schools

Received $2,876,893 in COVID relief funds.

Used for: supports to help close the learning gap, teachers, credit recovery, curriculum items and courses, and summer learning.

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Southeastern Local Schools

Received $1,466,093 in COVID relief funds.

Used for: online curriculum, playground equipment, desk shields, cleaning supplies, an extra custodian, three staff members’ salary and benefits and a upgrade to the intercom system.

Springfield City Schools

Received $46.9 million in COVID relief funds.

Used for: renovation of The Dome, 61 additional staff, improvements to the HVAC system, summer enrichment programs, electronic devices and internet access, a school based health clinic at Springfield High School, additional curriculum resources, professional development and additional paid time off for staff.

Tecumseh Local Schools

Received $3,156,035 in COVID relief funds.

Used for: Chromebooks, virtual teacher, several nurses and salaries, supplies, PPEs, computer software, hotspots, staff laptops, summer learning program, training, food service deficit spending recovery, student devices, maps assessments, maintenance equipment and supplies, chillers, boilers and roofs, snow and lawn equipment and storage sheds, curriculum and intervention supplies and textbooks, website communication, tutoring services, professional development, bus drivers and fuel, outreach, intervention resources, current salaries and benefits, support services, mental health therapists and a middle school roof.

Triad Local Schools

Received $1,658,005 in COVID relief funds.

Used for: staffing for early literacy programs, data to inform instruction and intervention, expanded summer school programs, academic professional development for staff, new programs to evaluate student needs, professional development, community partnerships, summer support opportunities and a mental health plan.

Urbana City Schools

Received $6,021,882 in COVID relief funds.

Used for: textbook and curriculum adoptions, staff stipends, health and safety equipment, furniture, behavioral specialist, computers, electronic instructional support, virtual learning options, summer school, additional cleaning and sanitation supplies, bottle filler machines, new doors, camera systems, professional development, credit recovery online learning supports, bus driver certification, elementary teacher, HVAC upgrades and mental health supports.

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