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Franklin County Schools plan to use funding on learning loss caused by pandemic

The district will receive over $14 million, and are required to put 20% toward helping students’ academic needs

Franklin County school leaders deciding how to spend American Rescue Plan money
Franklin County school leaders deciding how to spend American Rescue Plan money

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – School districts across the Commonwealth are receiving an influx of funding from the American Rescue Plan. Now, school boards are left figuring out what to put their money towards.

Franklin County School District will receive over $14.7 million from American Rescue Plan funding. The money is to help the district’s school and students recover from COVID-19.

To get input on what the money should be used for, Franklin County Superintendent Dr. Bernice Cobbs and Assistant Superintendent Sue Rogers created multiple committees.

“We ensured that each one of these committees had our students’ voices because we really wanted to know what they felt was important,” said Rogers.

Virginia’s Department of Education is requiring at least 20% of school funding go towards dealing with learning loss caused by the pandemic.

“We know that there is a learning loss and we’ve looked at what is it or what systems can we put in place to support our students,” said Cobbs.

Programs like virtual tutoring options, school-based literacy teams and alternative education structures for students with special needs.

“There are mental health concerns. There are students that really lost a year of instruction so there is no better way to have those supports in place. But we did not spend all the funds that way because we know those positions will be short term,” said Rogers.

School leaders are also looking at long term needs like adding AC to the central gym and upgrading school buses.

They say this plan is fluid and they’re still open to suggestions from students or parents. Find the full plan, here. The plan must be submitted to the state’s Department of Education by September 1 and the ARP funding must be spent by 2024.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.