The Oklahoma State Department of Education and public school districts in the state have spent about 58% of the $2.3 billion the U.S. Department of Education has allocated to Oklahoma to support students in the wake of the pandemic.
According to the USDE, that figure ranks Oklahoma fourth, behind only Arkansas, Hawaii and Iowa, in the amounts spent.
“We’re very proud of our highly successful distribution of federal relief funds in Oklahoma,” said outgoing State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister in a Friday press release. “The timely and appropriate expenditure of these dollars is critical to help Oklahoma families and educators. Otherwise, the funds would have to be returned without benefit to Oklahomans.
Oklahoma’s $2.3 billion total allocation for education comes from three separate federal stimulus bills that each provided for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief.
That relief program requires that 90% of each of the three rounds of funding be allocated directly to local school districts to help with their efforts to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.” The new online portal, called the ESSER dashboard, is available to see statewide totals and district-by-district use of each of the three funding sources.
From the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which provided for ESSER I, some $144.80 million — which is 99.96% from that source — has been spent in Oklahoma to date.
From the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, $560.50 million, or 93.64% of ESSER II, has been expended, and from the American Rescue Plan, a reported $505.50 million, or 37.58% of the nearly $1.5 billion allocated in ESSER III, has been spent.
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