Weatherford ISD is expected to receive close to $9 million over the next three years as part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.

In late April, state leaders announced the release of $11.2 billion in new federal funding to help public schools address student learning loss and costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is part of President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan, which was announced in January.

"These funds have been set aside by the federal government, and school districts can apply for grants through the [Texas Education Agency] for their portion of the funding," WISD Superintendent Beau Rees said.

The first appropriation is expected to be about $5.9 million and the second $2.9 million. 

Rees said the district is garnering input from principals and staff members on some of the things they need.

"There are a lot of ways that we can address student needs and a lot of things on the table," he said.

There are certain guidelines for how the district may use the funding. For instance, ISDs can't use it to build facilities but may use it to work on ventilation and HVACs to improve air flow, Rees said.

School districts must spend the dollars first, then are reimbursed by the TEA.

To a question from a board member regarding a guarantee for reimbursement of a project, Rees said the district will have to submit a plan and have it approved by the TEA before they can move forward.

The discussion was part of Monday's regular board meeting, at which trustees also:

• Approved the purchase of MAP growth and MATH skills, a program the district has been using to track student progress.

• Approved a hybrid instruction waiver which allows high school students who are not taking the STAAR test to go to school remotely, and not count as an absence toward the district.

• Approved an update to the district's mission, vision, values and goals statement.

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