More federal COVID-19 funding means $200,000 for local school districts

By The Associated Press 

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday he’s putting an additional $220 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds towards the state’s public schools. 

Northam said in a statement the extra money would be used to help schools pay for testing supplies, personal protective equipment and technology needed for virtual learning. Virginia schools are currently operating in a mishmash fashion, with some districts offering in-person instruction while others are mostly virtual. 

Virginia governor Ralph Northam announced additional federal funding for local school districts through the state. Lexington City Schools and Rockbridge County Schools could see as much as $200,000 in additional funding. Photo by Grace Mamon ’22.

The governor said the money would be distributed to all 135 school districts at a rate of $175 per pupil. He also said every district would get a minimum of $100,000. That means two districts in the area, Rockbridge County Public Schools and Lexington City Schools, would get a minimum of $200,000. The extra money comes on top of about $300 million in federal funds the governor has directed toward public schools during the pandemic. 

The state received $3.1 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds and has roughly $1.3 billion still unallotted.

The $220 million Northam announced Thursday is $20 million more than what House lawmakers said Northam should spend on school costs in their recently proposed budget. The governor recently warned lawmakers that he won’t sign a budget that constricts his ability to spend federal relief funds. 

Grace Mamon of the Rockbridge Report contributed to this article.