The Governor’s Office announced on Thursday that the process has begun to distribute $370 million in federal CARES Act funds to public and charter schools in the state.
The Enrollment Stabilization Grant (ESG) Program, a form of COVID relief funding, has allocated a total of $716 million toward Arizona K-12 schools.
The program was first announced as part of the Arizona: Open for Learning Plan. The plan is meant to improve school budget stability, increase funding for students utilizing virtual options and to cover the cost of in-person learning.
Schools will have the flexibility to use funds from the ESG program to ensure the safety of students and staff have safe in-person and virtual learning experiences. Every eligible district or charter that applied will receive funding.
The Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting will verify whether schools met criteria including, “providing in-person support services for students in need during school hours, conducting benchmark testing and completing financial reporting before funding is released.”
Gov. Doug Ducey said in the statement:
“Our office has been working with school leaders, educators and families to ensure schools and students have the support they need. Schools are facing additional costs to maintain health and safety in the classroom and to make sure students learning online stay engaged. Today’s funding will help schools meet the needs of kids while keeping our communities safe.”
Additionally, the ESG plan will have other resources made available to schools including public health support and access to meals.