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Gov. Northam announces additional federal money for schools

RICHMOND, VA - JUNE 04: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) speaks during a news conference on June 4, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. Gov. Northam and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced plans to take down a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue.  (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - JUNE 04: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) speaks during a news conference on June 4, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. Gov. Northam and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced plans to take down a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images) (2020 Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday he’s putting an additional $220 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds towards the state’s public schools.

Northam said in a statement the extra money would be used to help schools pay for testing supplies, personal protective equipment and technology needed for virtual learning. Virginia schools are currently operating in a mishmash fashion, with some districts offering in-person instruction while others are mostly virtual.

The governor said the money would be distributed to all 135 school districts at a rate of $175 per pupil. He said every district would get a minimum of $100,000. The extra money comes on top of about $300 million in federal funds the governor has directed toward public schools during the pandemic.

The state received $3.1 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds and has roughly $1.3 billion still unallotted.

The $220 million Northam announced Thursday is $20 million more than what House lawmakers said Northam should spend on school costs in their recently proposed budget. The governor recently warned lawmakers that he won’t sign a budget that constricts his ability to spend federal relief funds.