Here's how local school districts are spending their relief dollars

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Billions of dollars in state and federal COVID relief funds have been set aside for schools across the country. Now, local districts are putting that money to work.

Districts across the state received one-time funding to help students transitioning back to in-person learning. They're each using that money differently, but a big chunk will go towards learning loss mitigation.

"When you get funding, it's a lot more than let's go do something," explained FUSD Deputy Superintendent Misty Her. "How do we meticulously think what were going to do with it that's going to have the most impact on our kids?"

For Fresno Unified, the plan includes added summer and winter learning, after school programs and more instruction time. One concern is how to keep the programs going when the one time funding is all spent.

"If we start to get results and it's $12.7 million, then how do we keep that over the years and have the funding for it when we don't get the funding anymore," added Her.

The district is also hiring roughly 200 new staff members this year with the money. At Clovis Unified, the extra funds are being spent partly on summer school, intervention programs, and new sanitation systems.

"It's a one-touch disinfectant system for buses," explained CUSD Associate Superintendent of Administrative Services Michael Johnston. "Where you push a button once the kids exit, then it disinfects the entire bus for the kids getting on the bus."

Administrators at CUSD also want to make sure they're not stranded when the money dries up.

"These are one time dollars we're getting for relief," added Johnston. "They're not ongoing."
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