Moore Schools looking for feedback on how to spend federal ESSER dollars

Moore Schools looking for feedback on how to spend federal ESSER dollars

LOCAL EDUCATION NEWS — Director of Schools Chad Moorehead says he and the Metro School Board are seeking public and specifically parent feedback on how to spend federal dollars meant to address student and school issues created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a district, we are at a juncture at which we need your input around ESSER 3.0 funding. Summer break is not the easiest time to connect with our families and community members, but we are asking for your feedback on the following short survey,” Director Moorehead said.

For your convenience, the school system created an online survey, which you can access by clicking here.

Last year state education officials learned that Tennessee would receive $4.5 billion in federal relief funding for use between spring 2020 and fall 2023 – an historic influx of federal funding to support K-12 schools and students across the state. Moore County Schools’ portion of that federal money would be close to $1 million in this third round of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding. Previously Moore County received around $548,000 in the first two rounds.

But as all federal dollar do, the money comes with strict guidelines on how it can be spent. It’s also important to note that these federal dollar can not be used to replace local property tax dollars used to support the Moore County School system’s general budget. All money spent must address a problem created or made worse by the pandemic.

The first round totaling around $119,000 was used for things like teacher salaries for supplemental learning opportunities, sanitizing and disinfecting equipment, Internet hotspots for remote learners, and computer equipment. The second round of federal ESSER dollar totaling around $429,000 is being used to cover salaries for substitutes, summer school, instructional software, wireless infrastructure, renewing Chromebooks, upgrade facilities like playgrounds, and cleaning and maintaining floors.

Currently the plan for the third round totaling nearly $1 million includes more afterschool and tutoring opportunities to help local students regain any learning losses from the previous year as well as replacing older laptops needed for remote learning. Moore County schools will also purchase more textbooks and supplemental learning materials. The plan also addresses social and mental learning by earmarking dollars for profession development for teachers and contracted mental health service for students.

You can view a complete list of the Moore County ESSER plan by clicking here.

Moore County’s school districts will receive funding directly through the Tennessee Department of Education and will also have access to additional grant opportunities and free resources developed and provided by the department with its portion of federal funding. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only daily newspaper in Lynchburg. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}