Iowa House Passes COVID-19 Funding for Schools Based on In-Person Classes

DES MOINES, Iowa - A bill passed in the Iowa House Thursday would give an additional $27 million dollars to school districts based on how many days of in-person learning they offered.

The bill calls for school districts to count how many days students could attend in person previously in the current school year. Funding would then be divided doled out with more funds going to districts that offered more days of full, in-person learning.

The House amended the bill so schools that had disruptions from the August Derecho could claim those days missed for additional funding.

The house passed the bill 71-26 with some Democratic support. But many in the party still contend the it punishes schools that opted for hybrid or online learning at the time.

Republicans say the plan makes sense and is fair because schools that were open in-person had more COVID-19-related expenses.

The House bill allows some funding for all school districts because it's based on the number of days that schools held in-person classes.

A Senate version requires that schools had to comply with state guidelines for reopening in order to be eligible for the funding.

Des Moines schools would be uniquely exempt from funding in the Senate bill because the district is the only one which defied the state and continued to offer only online classes.

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