The College Station school district is in the process of applying for federal grants to help address learning loss and unexpected costs related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Districts throughout the state have received three sets of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. For College Station, the total of the three allotments was $20 million, the latest – and largest – coming in March at $12,887,196.
During the June 15 school board workshop, Amy Drozd, chief financial officer for the district, outlined some of the plans for the ESSER III funds, with at least 20% going toward learning loss caused by the pandemic. There are seven grants the district has committed to pursue, she said, and six additional grants district administrators are still considering.
According to the Texas Education Agency, “School systems should use these new funds to respond to the pandemic and to address student learning loss as a result of COVID-19.” The funds can be used for costs incurred between March 2020 and September 2024.
The six areas the district has committed to use the ESSER III funds for are this year’s summer school programs, a reading cohort leader, Reading Academy stipends for elementary school teachers who must use personal time to complete a reading certification process, three new counselors for the district’s intermediate and middle schools, three middle school athletic trainers and two special education staff members.