The state Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has approved DPI’s plan for distributing $175 million to public and private schools through the federal CARES Act. The approval comes after the DPI agreed to reduce the amount of funds set aside for administrative costs from $500,000 to $350,000.
JFC Co-Chair Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) in a release reiterated that the CARES Act requires 90% of this funding to be distributed according to a federal formula that directs funds to school districts based on the proportion of low-income students in a school district (Title 1).
According to the release, DPI plans to use the remaining 10% to fund initiatives to train teachers on virtual education and to increase the number of courses that are offered virtually. DPI believes this will better prepare K-12 schools to provide increased virtual education offerings whether that is due to COVID-19 or another reason students may not be able to physically attend school, like a snow day. Funding will also be used to improve mental health services provided to students during the COVID-19 pandemic.