DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Department of Education is getting nearly $345 million in federal COVID-19 relief for schools.
The money is Iowa's share of $54 billion directed to education in the latest COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress late last year.
It amounts to more than four times what the state received last spring through a similar act.
The state says 90 percent of the new funding is available for Iowa school districts.
The allocation of funds is based on each school district’s eligibility. Since the new money is a supplement to the previous funds, school districts do not need to reapply but must agree on a list of assurances on how the funds will be used.
The remaining 10 percent of the new funding will be used for state-level educational efforts to address urgent issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo issued a statement regarding to latest round of federal funding:
“These funds will provide critical support to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Iowa students and families who depend on the essential services provided by our schools,” said Lebo. “Schools can use this funding to measure and address unfinished learning and contend with other coronavirus-related challenges. That includes the need for increased professional development, educational technology, cleaning supplies and other sanitation measures, facility repairs, upgrades to improve air quality in school buildings, summer learning, supplemental after-school programs and mental health services.”