COVID funds ‘essential’ for safe schools

By Kevin Stone | KTAR

Arizona has now received more than $4 billion in federal COVID-19 recovery funds for education, which Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said has been “incredibly critical” for schools to safely reopen because “the state has fallen short” in that regard.

Arizona just received another $862 million from the federal government, the final slice of its American Rescue Plan school funding, after the state’s plan for using the money was approved, the U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday.

The department said in a press release it will “closely review and monitor” how Arizona spends the money after the Biden administration on Tuesday told Gov. Doug Ducey to stop using previous federal COVID aid for grants to schools without face mask mandates.

In all, Arizona received more than $2.5 billion in three disbursals this year to support K-12 schools as part of the American Rescue Plan after around $1.5 billion from last year’s COVID relief packages.

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