Tri-Cities school systems discuss plans for third round of stimulus funding

Local Coronavirus Coverage

(WJHL) – Tri-Cities school systems are in the planning process for a third round of stimulus funding that was announced in March.

That funding is coming from ESSER III, or the “Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.”

“We are looking at how we can use those strategically to provide the most long-term benefit to both our environments and the student learning process,” Dr. Andy True with Kingsport City Schools said. “Working on the budget is really where we are with that.”

“The deadline for that just changed,” Dr. David Cox with Sullivan County Schools said. “It’s now August 1st just to give the school systems more time to get the application in.”

While school systems still have a few more months to make final decisions, they do know now exactly how much money to expect.

ESSER 3 Allocations:

Tennessee:

Carter County Schools: $15,034,317.91

Elizabethton City Schools: $5,659,315.09

Greene County Schools: $14,723,890.93

Greeneville Schools: $4,578,492.02

Hawkins County Schools: $16,401,088.41

Johnson City Schools: $13,881,917.90

Johnson County Schools: $5,994,514.37

Kingsport City Schools: $17,075,503.09

Sullivan County Schools: $20,610,150.34

Unicoi Schools: $4,691,566.32

Washington County Schools: $11,963,190.47

Buchanan County Schools: $10,200,441.30

Dickenson County Schools: $6,446,026.58

Scott County Schools: $6,277,176.41

Lee County Schools: $12,089,584.89

Russell County Schools: $8,180,627.66

Smyth County Schools: $9,602,996.35

Washington County Schools: $13,302,282.26

Wise County Schools: $17,219,289.63

Norton City Schools: $1,890,141.75

Bristol City Schools: $9,253,483.18

“A big stipulation is that a minimum of 20% must be used to address learning loss,” Jerry Boyd with Washington County TN Schools said.

Summer camps, new textbooks and additional staff are on the list for some area schools.

“We really hope to try to do some capital projects with our ESSER III funds but also to deal with the unfinished learning,” Dr. Keith Perrigan with Bristol VA Public Schools said. “We’re planning on having a summer camp.”

“We’re doing some of that with their after school and our before school thinking ahead for next year but also with their summer school planning,” Dr. Gina Wohlford with Norton City Schools said.

Another item on the list for several area schools is ventilation system replacements.

“We’re excited about improving ventilation in our buildings because it not only helps during this pandemic but also could have future health benefits as well,” Perrigan said.

Once applications have been approved, school officials have until September 2024 to spend the funds allocated to them.

“We realize it’s both a blessing and a big challenge to create these plans and execute these plans with the funding we’re going to get,” Boyd said.

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