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State Lawmakers Appropriate One-Time Funds for In-Person Schools


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An Iowa House subcommittee has approved a one-time appropriation of 30 million dollars for schools that have been in-person during the pandemic. Any district that allowed at least 50 percent of students to attend in-person could qualify for payments, but the schools that offered the most days of all in-person learning would receive the largest share of funding. Supporters say it would help cover the cost of mitigating COVID-19 in the classroom. 

But, Melissa Peterson of the Iowa State Education Association says it would punish schools that decided in-person learning would be unsafe.

"The assumption that there are not still expenses for a school district that is 100 percent virtual or is in a hybrid model would not be accurate. There are still expenses. There are still costs that are associated with that."

The school funding bill in the Iowa Senate also includes a pandemic recovery payment worth 65 dollars per student. But it leaves out any district, including Des Moines Public Schools, that switched to virtual learning without a waiver from the state.

The Iowa Department of Public Health today was reporting another two COVID-19 deaths and an additional 261 confirmed cases. At 10 a.m. the state was reporting 5,110 COVID-19-related deaths, an increase of two deaths since yesterday, according to the state's coronavirus.iowa.gov website.  There have been 324,666 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Iowa since the pandemic came to the state.  As of today, Woodbury County has added 8 new coronavirus cases added to the total case count in the last 24 hours. The county has had 13,380 cases of COVID 19,  202 deaths; and a 7.0% positivity rate.

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