CHEYENNE – Wyoming will receive $32,562,651, part of about $13.2 billion allocated to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund), authorized under section 18003 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“We are grateful for these timely funds,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “Wyoming education should not go ‘back to normal.’ School districts and schools will utilize ESSER Funds to make schools more nimble and safer in the face of a resurgence or future pandemic.”
The ESSER Funds will provide Wyoming school districts with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and will continue to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the state. The allocation is in the same proportion as Wyoming received under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in fiscal year 2019.
“Thank you for all you are doing to lead your state through this unprecedented national emergency,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in correspondence to Balow. “You are making important decisions every day to keep your students, families, and teachers safe, and you are tackling head-on the challenges created by COVID-19 in your school districts and schools.”
On March 15, Governor Mark Gordon and Superintendent Balow recommended that schools close through at least April 3, 2020. The Wyoming Department of Health issued closure orders for public places, such as K-12 schools, through April 30, 2020. School districts are currently operating under Adapted Learning Plans until the end of the school year, if necessary.
“Funds from the CARES Act should be used to stabilize local and state communities, and schools are a part of that,” Balow said. “We should spend these dollars to fill education gaps created by COVID-19 school closures and strengthen our education system.”
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Michelle Panos, Communications Director