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More CARES Act money for K-12 education in Idaho, another relief program gets funding

Posted at 4:15 PM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 09:21:56-04

BOISE, Idaho — A unanimous vote ensures Idaho school districts will have more federal money to spend on coronavirus relief and a new relief program from the governor also gets the green light.

Governor Little asked his committee carving up Idaho's CARES Act funding to put $99 million into public schools. Those dollars will replace the cuts Little made to the K-12 budget back in July.

But the money won't necessarily give teachers their pay raises back through the career ladder. It's up to individual school districts on how to spend the dollars.

Idaho colleges and universities also received almost $50 million from the CARES Act. That money has already been distributed with half of it going directly to student aid.

The task force also voted unanimously to give $50 million from the CARES Act to "Strong Families, Strong Students." The goal of the grant program is to provide support and resources to any Idaho family to help their student be successful. Families can apply for up to $3,500 to pay for items like computer hardware and software, internet, instructional materials and tutoring.

The State Board of Education will oversee eligibility, which will prioritize disadvantaged families. State leaders expect the "Strong Families, Strong Students" applications to open in October.

Even after these allocations for education, Idaho still has almost $200 million in CARES Act funding to distribute before the end of the year. If you want to hear more about how Idaho is spending its CARES Act funding, watch Making the Grade with Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News below.