The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) released on Wednesday an interactive report for the public to see how school districts and charters school are spending COVID-19 relief funds.
“The public has a need and a right to know how schools are spending a generational influx of federal funding to improve education outcomes in New Mexico,” said Public Education Secretary Designate Kurt Steinhaus. “We’re very proud to present this digital tool to make that as easy as possible and to showcase the great work districts and state charter schools are doing to spend this money wisely.”
The PED was awarded $108 million in the first round of funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
Ninety percent of the funds were awarded directly to school districts and state charter schools, totaling $97.72 million. As of Sept. 1, $86.2 million was spent.
School districts allocated $30.07 million for educational technology, $28.57 million for preparedness activities, $13.4 million for student support and interventions and $25.02 million on other school support.
Here are the planned allocations for ESSER funds in New Mexico:
- Purchasing education technology: $30.07 million
- Resources for principals and school leaders: $12.45 million
- Supplies to sanitize facilities: $10.79 million
- Planning during long-term closures: $9.95 million
- Activities to Maintain Continuity Services: $5.17 million
- Other activities authorized under ESEA: $4.79 million
- Procedures to improve preparedness: $4.69 million
- Activities for students with disabilities: $4.39 million
- Summer learning and after school programs: $2.92 million
- Professional development for remote learning: $2.64 million
- Indirect: $2.6 million
- Activities for low-income children: $1.54 million
- Mental Health Services: $1.48 million
- Private schools: $901,373
- Activities for English learners: $751,909
- Coronavirus preparedness efforts: $710,886
- Career and technical education: $416,147
- Activities for Native-American students: $363,800
- Activities for non-Native-American students: $328,041
- Support for homeless of foster youth: $297,844
- Sanitation training for staff: $286,213
- Family Literacy: $46,339
- Adult education: $15,000
Congress passed the CARES Act in March 2020 and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act in December 2020 to help state and local governments navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A third round of funding was approved under the ARP in March 2021.
Altogether, the federal government appropriated nearly $189.5 billion to support schools in the U.S.
New Mexico was also awarded $435.93 million in ESSER II funds, authorized by the CRRSA Act, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
The state also received $881.15 million in ESSER III fund; 90% or $837.1 million will be distributed directly to schools.
How are funds allocated in Eddy County?
Carlsbad Municipal Schools (CMS) were awarded $985,342.54 and Artesia Public Schools (APS) were awarded $606,627.91. Both schools have used over 99% of theses funds.
CMS allocated $155,500 for educational technology, $362,779.85 for preparedness activities, $223,500 for student support and interventions and $246,847.67 on other school support.
APS allocated $329,077 for educational technology, $133,500 for preparedness activities, $67,523 for student support and interventions and $78,333.04 on other school support.
Loving Municipal Schools (LMS) were awarded $76,089.71 but have only spent $57,627.
Claudia Silva is a reporter from the UNM Local Reporting Fellowship. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at (575) 628-5506 or on Twitter @thewatchpup.