School District to get nearly $700,000 in additional funds

The Darlington County School District will get nearly $700,000 in additional funds from the federal American Rescue Plan to help school districts in addressing the challenges faced by vulnerable students due to COVID-19 and other funds. The bulk of the funds are provided under the American Rescue Plan Act to support the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) grant programs targeted at students with disabilities, and to support specific and urgent needs of students who are experiencing homelessness. “South Carolina’s vulnerable student populations continue to be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “These funds will be used by school districts to address the specific needs of students with disabilities and those experiencing homelessness so that they have every opportunity to be successful now and into the future.” The Darlington County School District is to get more than $500,000 for IDEA funding. South Carolina’s allocation of more than $43 million may be used for all expenses allowed under the IDEA, with a focus on alleviating the challenges created by the pandemic related to equity in education for students with disabilities. The uses might include: — Providing support and direct services for students with disabilities; — Providing positive behavior and intervention supports and mental health services; — Improving the use of technology in the classroom and/or in a remote setting to enhance learning; — Implementing transition services to support postsecondary activities; and — Assisting districts in meeting personnel shortages including hiring additional personnel to provide special education and related services and reducing caseloads in key areas. Also, the DCSD is to get nearly $160,000 through McKinney-Vento homeless funding. South Carolina was allocated $13.8 million in homeless children and youth funding with $10.4 million going directly to school districts and the remaining amount reserved by the SCDE’s McKinney-Vento Program to implement activities that will support districts in identifying and supporting children and youth who are experiencing homelessness. Uses of this funding may include: — Academic supports — Trauma-informed care — Mental health services — Purchasing needed supplies, such as: — Eyeglasses — School supplies

Author: Rachel Howell

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