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Erie County to provide $15 million in extra funding for school districts

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Posted at 11:23 AM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 13:11:11-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Erie County will provide every public school district in Erie County with a $100 subsidy per student to help cover the cost of reopening schools during a pandemic.

The county says the funding can be used for the following:

  • Purchasing personal protective equipment (“PPE”),
  • Purchasing sanitizing equipment,
  • Implementing social distancing and other infection-control measures, and
  • Purchasing equipment for remote learning including laptops, tablets, webcams and hotspots.

The payments, which total $15 million, will be based on 2018-19 population numbers for each district. Buffalo - the largest district in the county - will receive $4 million in additional funding. Holland - one of the county's smallest districts - will receive $100,000. Charter schools will also receive additional funding.

Districts in economically disadvantaged areas will receive an additional $50 per student, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced Thursday morning.

The money - which is coming from the federal CARES Act - will help districts cover the additional cost of sanitation, PPE and virtual learning expenses such as laptops and internet service.

The Buffalo School Board voted unanimously Wednesday night to begin the school year completely remote. Suburban districts such as West Seneca and Maryvale have also decided to start the fall semester with all students learning remotely.