From the Board of Education: The Impact of Federal Dollars on Public Education Funding

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A Broadcast Communication article from the Board of Education - November 2021. 

The past 20 months have certainly presented some very unique challenges across all facets of our society due to the global health crisis that resulted in the national government stepping in and creating an influx of one time relief funds for public education through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.

The CARES Act provided approximately $31 billion to help school districts from all across the country respond to changes in student needs due to COVID-19. As part of the CARES Act, the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Grant Program was established. The ESSER Grant Program consists of three stimulus bills that provided over $2.3 billion to local educational agencies (LEAs) in Wisconsin.

The table below, from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website, provides a summary of the funding for ESSER under each of the stimulus bills. The final row shows the amount allocated here in the Howard-Suamico School District.

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These funds have been used to address the unfinished learning that occurred as a result of the mandatory school closures and the various mitigation efforts that were employed as a result of COVID-19. While the influx of these federal dollars played an important role in funding pandemic related expenditures, the Wisconsin State Legislature will need to backfill the funding gap when these grants expire. Prior to the next biennium budget, the School Board will be advocating for additional state dollars to be allocated to public education so that funding levels remain consistent.

These advocacy efforts are an important part of the School Board’s work. We will continue to maintain purposeful connections, meaningful relationships, and continued communication with our elected officials in order to share the potential impact of any budget or policy decisions.

For additional information about the Howard-Suamico School District or how you can support these efforts, please visit

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