Update on American Rescue Plan
According to numbers released by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer's office this week, Marcellus is expected to receive nearly $1.2 million as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
Specifics about how the money can be used have not been released, but it does appear funds can be accessed over the next four years to help districts recover from the pandemic. For example, funds could be used for technology upgrades, programs to help students recover from loss of learning during the pandemic, or for modifications to our instructional program that could help us transition to remote learning.
"As is typical with Federal funding, strings may be attached to these funds," Superintendent Michelle Brantner said. "Sometimes additional funds are used to offset money that's being taken away. It appears our federal and state legislators want to use these funds for recovery efforts, and not to fund existing programs."
The federal money is aimed at helping schools reopen quickly and safely as they recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Funds are allocated to districts throughout the state based on a federal formula tied to population, and are weighted heavily toward schools with children in poverty, Syracuse.com reported.
"We don't have particulars on exactly how allocations were determined," School Business Administrator Anthony Sonnacchio said. "Senator Schumer's office did provide us with an estimate of just under $1.2 million, but it remains to be seen how we can access these funds and what we can use them for."
At this time district officials are waiting for the NYS legislature to approve its budget, due by April 1st, so that it knows what it can expect in the form of state support for next year. Stay tuned.