Ohio state Rep. Jack Cera.
(The Center Square) – The state Controlling Board approved more than $683 million in federal funding, including $300 million for Ohio schools, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers said.
“These necessary resources will help to ensure the health and safety of our schools’ students, faculty and staff,” state Rep. Thomas West, D-Canton, said in a news release. “Their well-being must come first as school districts, colleges and universities make decisions on how to conduct the coming semester.”
The school funding, from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, includes $200 million for the Ohio Department of Higher Education and $100 million for the Department of Education.
“Directing these federal funds to where they’re most needed will allow Ohioans to get back to work and into the classroom safely,” state Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, a member of the Controlling Board, said in a news release. “These allocations for K-12 and Higher Education are in addition to other funds that these schools have already received.”
The state will distribute the $100 million for schools based on their enrollment. Schools can use the funding for remote learning, protective equipment or cleaning and sanitation.
“The coronavirus pandemic has created new realities for our schools as they prepare to open in the fall,” state Rep. Cindy Abrams, R-Harrison, said in a news release. “This financial support will help cover unexpected costs.”
During its meeting on Monday, the Controlling Board also approved additional federal funds, including $169.6 million for the Ohio Department of Medicaid, $63.5 million to the Ohio Department of Health and $62 million for Ohio hospitals “serving rural and underserved communities.” The Ohio Arts Council also received $517,000 “to support community art and education in communities around Ohio,” according to a release.