As COVID-19 swept the nation, the federal government provided three rounds of education recovery funding, beginning with the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020, then the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act in December 2020 and finally the American Rescue Plan (ARP) in March 2021.
Awards are distributed through three avenues: ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief), HEER (Higher Education Emergency Relief) and GEER (Governor’s Education Emergency Relief) funds.
To date, the Citrus County School District has received a total of $23.5 million in federal stimulus funding.
Awards for K-12 students in 2020-21 totaled at $5.2 million. This includes $4.3 million in ESSER I, with the rest from various GEER I funds. The district has $185,566 remaining, which they estimate will be spent by the end of 2021.
For 2021-22, the district was awarded $15.2 million in K-12 funds from ESSER II. The district has $6.1 million remaining and estimates to spend it by June 2023.
To date, Withlacoochee Technical College (WTC) has been awarded $2.8 million in HEER I and II funds. The remaining $1.5 million is estimated to be expended by June 2023.
The district was also awarded a total of $258,490 in pre-k funds. Tammy Wilson, director of finance for the Citrus County School Board, said these federal funds are awarded to the Early Learning Coalition (ELC), which are then funneled to the district.
In total, the district has $7.8 million in net funds left to spend. According to Wilson, the district is awaiting additional awards, which are yet to be dispersed by the Florida Department of Education.