Skubick: Federal COVID relief dollars set to be approved for Michigan schools

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) –  It appears that the logjam over sending federal COVID relief dollars for Michigan schools has been broken in the legislature, but schools don’t know how much state aid they will get this year.

The good news for schools: the House and Senate have passed over $4 billion in federal COVID aid.

“The good news is the $4.8 billion in federal COVID aid is on its way to Michigan schools,” said Peter Spadafore of the Michigan Superintendent and Administrators Association.

The bad news is that local school boards need to know by the end of the month how much state aid they are going to receive – and they don’t know how much that will be.

“That is a huge frustration out in the field,” said Jen Smith, of Michigan School Boards.

The Trump and Biden administrations months ago delivered federal COVID dollars to the state.  

Finally, after haggling for months, the governor and the GOP leaders are now close to sending the money out.

20% of the federal money will address learning loss and other programs.

“Wrap around services, intervention for those who have fallen behind money to supplement their education,” said Spadafore.

However, none of the federal dollars can go into salaries or other operating expenses unless they were related to COVID issues or preparing for the new year.

“We need money to be able to prepare for the new year and to cover PPE covid related costs from last year which will get us ready for the fall,” said Smith.

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