Alabama schools need to spend the $170 million worth of coronavirus relief funding before Dec. 30. Otherwise, the money will go back to the federal government.
According to the most recent state budget information, schools have only spent about $26 million of that so far. This funding can go toward educational, health, and wellness and remote learning devices.
In Limestone County, Athens City Schools’ Acting Superintendent Beth Patton said the district received more than $1 million in funding. She said, while it sounds like a lot, they won't have any problem spending all of it before the deadline.
According to Patton, the district received nearly $600,000 for remote devices -- all of which she says has gone toward the purchase of iPads. The approximately $415,000 for health and wellness has been used to pay nurses’ salaries through December, purchase nursing supplies -- such as gloves and masks -- and make improvements to isolation stations.
Patton said the funding has been a tremendous benefit -- adding that the loss of the money would significantly impact them.
“We don't know how long this will continue,” Patton said. “The devices will help, but, of course, to be able to continue to buy the gloves and the masks and the cleaning supplies, and all of those things, that's just a tremendous amount of money.”