How is Federal Coronavirus Response Funding Spent in the Boulder Valley School District?
November 15, 2021
You cannot put a price on education – it is priceless. But when it comes to funding schools, every action counts. The COVID-19 pandemic has put tremendous pressure on school district funding and spending starting in March 2020.
“There were a lot of opportunities [for grants] that we specifically requested, as well as the funding formula we received through some of the specific grants to meet the conditions created by the pandemic, ”said BVSD CFO Bill Sutter.
BVSD recently received funds from the ESSER and Coronavirus Relief formula via the CARES law.
The ESSER Fund, or Emergency Relief Fund for Elementary and Secondary Schools, provides support to public and non-public K-12 schools as part of the CARES Act Education Stabilization Fund. The federal government administers the funds to the Colorado Department of Education, which then distributes the funds to local school districts.
The Coronavirus Relief Fund provides federal funding to help schools cope with the impacts of the pandemic.
BVSD grants / funds received for the school year 2020-21 to 2023-24
- ESSER I Fund – allocated $ 1.5 million – District allocated for distance learning technology – monitors, Chromebooks, webcams for teachers – everything needed for the REVA system that was used for HyFlex education.
- ESSER II Fund – allocated $ 6.2 million – District allocated for PPE, cleaning supplies, CO2 sensors, e-learning programs, jobless claims, nurses, HVAC systems.
- ESSER III Fund – $ 14 million awarded – The district is earmarked for tiered funding for High Support Schools, the addition of BU Link for additional e-learning opportunities, COVID testing and nurses.
- Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) – $ 14.9 million awarded – District is fully earmarked for teacher salaries.
- Safe Schools Reopening Grant (through FRC) – awarded $ 1.5 million – District allocated HVAC, air filters and cleaning supplies to help reopen schools.
- Special Education Grant – This is a separate state allocation for $ 1.6 million, which will focus on COVID catch-up and supporting students with IEPs.
- Connecting Colorado Grant – awarded $ 1.3 million for ConnectME with Livewire and for hotspots.
- Homeless Students – $ 0.1 million for guardians, mental health and housing.
“These additional federal resources have been and will continue to be extremely important to the BVSD, enabling health and safety responses to the pandemic as well as addressing the learning loss experienced by some students,” added Sutter. . “Without these resources, drastic measures would have been necessary to fund the expenses necessary to get students back to school safely and continue the incredible teaching and learning that occurs every day at BVSD.”
Liability in BVSD
The BVSD is assessed annually by the Colorado Department of Education for its performance – using student participation in mandatory state assessments, academic achievement, academic growth, and post-secondary outcomes as measures. Districts are also monitored on the quality of teachers – using teacher licenses, degrees, experience and teacher ratings as measures.
Overall, the accountability system shows how the district and each school behaves in serving their students, and this also forms the basis for a district’s accreditation. BVSD is currently “Accredited with Distinction” by the Colorado Department of Education. This is the highest ranking.
The district is also subject to an annual audit by an external and independent audit firm. All district funds are included. The audit firm has provided unequivocal opinions on the accuracy of the district’s financial statements each year. The firm also provides a separate annual audit on district federal grant funding.
Involvement of parents and stakeholders
BVSD welcomes questions / suggestions from parents, students, staff, partner agencies and community members regarding the planning, implementation and evaluation of programs supported by all district resources. Contribution opportunities occur each year during the budgeting process as well as specific outreach targeting specific district programs.
This press release was produced by the Boulder Valley School District. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.