The Sioux City School Board is expected to discuss COVID-19 relief money spending at tonight’s meeting.
The district received a third round of federal funding of almost $39 million. A new budget proposal calls for spending more money to help students who have fallen behind, from 20 to 40%.
Board Member Dan Greenwell says he is worried about the implementation of the plan.
“Talk is cheap, action much more subtenant in my book. I want to make sure we have action and not just talk.”
Greenwell says the district will likely need outside help from other agencies to help deliver needed services to children.
He adds students of color have fallen significantly behind.
“One out of two students doesn’t meet the Iowa minimum standard, so there is a significant gap out there.”
The plan provides teachers with an extra hour of paid time outside of their contract to identify students who are not learning and why. Other items include hiring more staff, improving technology, and updating air ventilation.
Superintendent Paul Gausman tells the Sioux City Journal the funding is a “once in a career opportunity” and can make a difference for students.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m., and Greenwell says the public needs to be involved in the process.
“It’s critically important. We are talking about a lot of money. It will make a big difference for our district and our children.”
However, some advocates call for more help in preventing the transmission of COVID-19 in schools.
* Handout from Sioux City Community School Board Member Dan Greenwell on COVID-19 funding: