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Local News

Wisconsin School Districts Keeping a Close Eye on 2.4 Billion in Pandemic Funds

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Mohamed Bughrara

Wisconsin school districts have until September 2024 to spend almost 2.4 billion in federal pandemic funds. So where has the money gone since receiving the funds?

In the early stages of 2020, spending was mostly focused on urgent action items such as remote instruction, educational technology, health and safety protocols related to the pandemic. 

Data presented by Wisconsin Policy Forum the explains where the funding came from:

  • $204.6 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief Economic Security Act (CARES)
  • $46.6 million in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER I) funds 
  • $158.5 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER I) 
  • $685.4 million through the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) 
  • $1.49 billion through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and ESSER III.

The average Wisconsin school district will receive $2,872 per pupil. Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) received the highest proportion of federal funds (33.4%), – equivalent to $11,535 per pupil.

Wisconsin faces numerous challenges as school districts must continue to allocate federal relief funds from COVID-19 without creating budgetary gaps before 2024. Long hours, constant supervision, and careful accounting are typically required for this type of budgeting – for more detailed breakdown on  the Federal Education Relief Aid sources, visit the Wisconsin Policy Forum.