$49 million in federal relief dollars will be allocated by the Oklahoma State Department of Education to 88 Oklahoma school districts to help with the pandemic, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced.
"Additional money from the Department of Education is very warmly welcomed,” Bixby Superintendent Rob Miller said.
Miller said it's much-needed funding. Out of the $49 million in federal relief, Bixby Public Schools will receive more than $2,500,000.
The funds are part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief money that had been allocated to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
"The cost that are associated with COVID, we are all bearing those additional costs,” Miller said.
Miller said the district couldn't receive a good amount of federal relief funds because they’re not considered a high poverty district.
“We got approximately $180 per student and there are some schools that have high poverty rates that received nearly ten times that amount,” Miller said.
Hofmeister said the department decided to provide the relief funds after hearing some districts had to make tough decision due to the pandemic, like cutting critical staff such as teachers, nurses, and counselors.
“It's really a statement that all students deserve to have the kind of support to meet their needs,” Hofmeister said.
Hofmeister said the funds will help districts that are struggling financially.
"It could be academic support students need, modifications to buildings for ventilation, or the support they need in hiring additional teachers,” Hofmeister said.
Miller said they also plan to use the money to provide extra services for kids who have fallen behind or may need additional support in the summertime.
To find the list of 88 schools that will be provided with funding, click here.