The first of two Coronavirus Relief Fund, or CRF, payments was made to districts the previous week, so long as the S.D. Department of Education received a signed grant Memorandum of Understanding from the district.
The initial payment is $500 per student based on the district’s 2019 fall enrollment and the second payment will be in early November following the finalization of 2020 fall enrollment.
Below is a summary of the main pieces of CRF for schools:
- Noem has announced that an additional $75 million in CRF grant funding will be made available to South Dakota’s public and non-public K-12 schools.
- The U.S. Treasury’s updated guidance allows direct payments to K-12 schools of up to $500 per elementary and secondary student “such that schools do not need to document the specific use of funds up to that amount.” (See CRF Calculations PDF)
- Payments can be used to “cover costs associated with providing distance learning (g., the cost of laptops to provide to students) or for in-person learning (e.g., the cost of acquiring personal protective equipment for students attending schools in-person or other costs associated with meeting Center for Disease Control guidelines).
- The payments may only be used to cover costs that:
- Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19);
- Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State of government; and
- Were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020.
- The state’s 149 public school districts and 47 accredited non-public schools will receive an initial payment based on 90% of their Fall 2019 enrollment.
- The final payment will be made in early November following the finalization of 2020 enrollments.
- This information will be posted on the SD Department of Education’s CARES Act funding webpage: https://doe.sd.gov/coronavirus/caresact.aspx
- South Dakota’s tribes received CARES Act funds as well. Tribes can elect to support their schools in the same way as described above.
- The CRF grants are in addition to the $41 million schools received through the U.S. Department of Education’s Elementary & Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.
- The ESSER grants required public schools to provide equitable services to the non-public schools in their district boundaries. There is not an equitable services requirement with the CRF grants. Both public and non-public schools will receive funding directly from the CRF.
Additional information about CRF, including webinars for school business managers will be shared by the South Dakota Department of Education in the future.