LBUSD is set to receive nearly $100 million in COVID-19 relief funding this year

The Long Beach Unified School District is expected to receive $99.4 million in COVID relief funding meant to be spent on and help with any COVID-related expenses—which could range from anything from personal protective equipment to technology for distance learning, officials announced over the holidays.

Of the $54.9 billion that Congress earmarked for education, $6.8 billion of that money is going toward California school districts and charter schools.

This funding came from the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package President Donald Trump signed on Dec. 27, which included recently distributed $600 stimulus checks. The package, however, did not include funding for cities or counties this time around.

In late March, the city received a similar federal funding package of $40 million, some of which went toward hotspots, early childhood education and youth programming. This new package would mark the second time that the district gets help.

“Our school district is awaiting further information on the requirements for using the COVID relief funds estimated to be received in the second round of federal funding,” said LBUSD spokesperson Chris Eftychiou in an email to the Post. “In the meantime, we are continuing to use the first round of federal funding for technology, professional development, nutrition of students, distance learning and personal protective equipment.”

LBUSD qualified through Title I funding, which is a program meant to support low-income and other disadvantaged students. Since Title I is tied to the amount of low-income children in a district, the funding received varies across school districts. At LBUSD, two-thirds of the 70,000 students attending its schools are low-income, according the the district website.

According to an Ed Source report, although the money is distributed by Title I funding, the legislation allows districts to spend the money for students districtwide on a wide range of COVID-related purposes. The deadline for districts to spend this funding is Sept. 30, 2022.

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Crystal Niebla is the West Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of her grant-funded position with the Post. If you want to support Crystal's work, you can donate to her Report For America position at lbpost.com/support.
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