RICHMOND — School divisions in the Alleghany Highlands will receive a total of more than $580,200 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security Act dollars.
Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday announced a new allocation of more than $220 million in CARES money to help K-12 public schools in Virginia.
The funding will support COVID-19 preparedness and response measures for the 2020–2021 school year, including testing supplies, personal protective equipment, sanitization and technology for distance learning.
Funding will be distributed to all 132 public school districts using an allocation formula of $175 per pupil based on fall enrollment, with a minimum of $100,000 for each school division.
Based on the funding formula, Alleghany County schools will receive $315,420; Covington schools, $164,833; and Bath County schools, $100,000.
“Students, teachers, principals, and parents are going to great lengths to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic amid a new school year, and we must do everything we can to support them,” Northam said.
“This additional $220 million in federal funding will give our schools the resources they need to continue operating and provide Virginians with a world-class education, whether safely in person or remotely from home,” he said.
The funding will supplement $66.8 million provided to Virginia through the federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund and an additional $587.5 million allocated to the commonwealth in May under the CARES Act.
That included $238.6 million from the Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund for K-12 activities. Additionally, the CARES Act provided $343.9 million for higher education through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
“This funding is critical as we continue to provide safe, high-quality education for Virginia students,” said Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. James Lane. “I am grateful to Governor Northam for his ongoing support of public education — and I can assure you that his funding will immediately be put to good use.”
Northam was one of the first governors in the country to close schools for in-person instruction when COVID-19 began to spread quickly during the 2020 spring semester.
Virginia school divisions have been working to adapt during the fall semester, and many continue to face challenges associated with maintaining public health protocols and increased technology needs.
In June, the commonwealth provided guidance for the phased reopening of PreK-12 schools, including guidelines for safely resuming in-person instruction and school activities.
“We applaud Governor Northam’s commitment of more than $220 million in federal CARES Act funding to our public schools,” said Dr. James Fedderman, President of the Virginia Education Association. “CO-VID-19 has brought huge new challenges for our students and educators, and members of the VEA have made clear throughout the pandemic that additional, necessary services require additional funding. This action will help keep our students safe, healthy, and learning.”
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.