The governor's office announced Thursday that the process has begun distributing $ 370 million in CARES funds to public schools and charter schools across the state.
The Enrollment Stabilization Grant (ESG) program, a form of COVID relief funding, has provided a total of $ 716 million for K-12 schools in Arizona.
The program was first announced as part of the Arizona: Open for Learning plan. The plan is designed to improve the stability of the school budget, increase funding for students using virtual options, and cover the costs of personal learning.
Schools have the flexibility to use funds from the ESG program to ensure the safety of students and staff who have safe personal and virtual learning experiences. Funding will be given to each eligible district or charter applied for.
The Governor's Bureau of Strategic Planning and Budgeting will assess whether the schools meet criteria including "providing personal support services to students in need during school hours, performing benchmarks and completing financial reporting before funding is released".
Governor Doug Ducey said in the statement:
“Our office has worked with school principals, educators and families to make sure schools and students get the support they need. Schools face additional costs to maintain classroom health and safety and to ensure that students studying online remain engaged. Today's funding will help schools meet children's needs while protecting our communities. "
In addition, other resources will be made available to schools under the ESG plan, including public health support and access to meals.