Local schools received a share of federal funding to help recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The school year was interrupted in March when Governor John Bel Edwards ordered all schools closed. That order was extended to the end of the school year.
From the Louisiana Department of Education:
The Louisiana Department of Education distributed nearly $260 million in federal relief funding to school systems statewide to support their efforts to recover from school facility closures amid the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to ensure a strong start to the 2020-2021 school year. The Department has provided detailed guidance to school systems on how to prioritize spending these dollars to meet those goals.
Natchitoches Parish’s allocation is $2,967,322.00 according to a chart supplied to The Journal by the state education department. (See Document Below)
“While the Department continues to monitor and respond to the evolving public health crisis, we are shifting our focus to helping school systems address unfinished learning from the 2019-2020 school year, set the foundation for continuous learning in 2020-2021 and prepare for potential modified operations in the future,” said Acting State Superintendent Beth Scioneaux.
Federal Relief Funding and Spending Guidance
The federal government, through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $287 million to Louisiana for K-12 education. Of that total, about $260 million went directly to school systems. With the remaining money, the Department will establish additional grant opportunities for school systems to support critical priorities.
These allocations were distributed according to a formula determined by the federal government, meaning each school system will receive varying amounts depending on their student populations.
To help school systems prioritize how they spend these dollars, the Department released a guide that outlines how they should build on the 2020-2021 academic plans they had developed before school facilities were closed to meet new academic and operational demands.