Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper directed $50 million in school funding flexibility to help public schools and support the greatest needs to serve students during the COVID-19 crisis. On Monday, Cooper ordered public schools to remain closed to in-class instruction through May 15.
The State Board of Education and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction will establish a new $50 million flexible allotment for public school units to address COVID-19-related expenses. This allotment is comprised of unused funds from the current and previous school years as well as the State Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund.
“We are working together to provide programs and resources to ensure the continued health, safety, and education of North Carolina students,” Cooper explained. “By allowing fund flexibility our school systems can use funds where it benefits students and families most by continuing to provide meals, improving distance learning, childcare, and much more.”
The governor worked with Superintendent Mark Johnson and the State Board of Education to create financial flexibility for school systems because of the wide range of needs across the state. The Governor’s Education and Nutrition Working Group collaborated with Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and Independent Public Schools to develop plans to directly help students and their families.
LEAs will also be permitted the flexibility to use currently unspent funds for immediate needs, including implementing remote learning strategies, school nutrition programs, cleaning and sanitizing schools and buses, acquiring protective equipment, and providing child care.
Read the School Budget Flexibility Memo HERE.