Green Country School Districts Prepare To Receive Millions In Federal Stimulus Funds

Tuesday, January 5th 2021, 9:17 pm

TULSA, Okla. -

Oklahoma schools are getting ready to receive hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government as part of the newly passed stimulus package. 

Not only is there more money this time around for education, but districts have lots of flexibility on how to spend it.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said Oklahoma is getting $665 million for education from the new stimulus bill. At least 90% of that must go straight to schools.

"It's a significant amount - four times what they got from CARES, and it's based on their poverty rate," said Shawn Hime, State School Boards Association Executive Director.

Hime said schools have a lot of freedom on how to spend it.

He said the state school board recommends first using it to cover budget shortfalls, and after that, districts could use the money for salaries, mental health resources, after school programs, school repairs, cleaning supplies, technology, anything to help them get through this year.

"The great thing is, it'll take them from survival mode to innovation mode," Hime said.

The state school boards association estimates Tulsa Public Schools should get at least $66 million, Union $11 million, Broken Arrow about $7 million, Jenks roughly $4.5 million, and Muskogee about $11 million.

TPS Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist said they don't know exactly how they'll use the money yet, but it'll be a huge help.

"That's a very significant amount of money to plan for recovery," Gist said.

"As we move forward, I would tell parents to talk to their school about what they should do with their money for the education of their children," Hime said.

The districts will have until Sept. 2022 to spend their money. Districts should receive the money in the coming weeks. 

You can find the state school boards association projections for how much each district is expected to get here.