Here's how Alice ISD plans to use millions in federal grant funding

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal

The Alice Independent School District (AISD) school board approved plans to spend  $11.2 million in federal grant funds at its Monday, June 16 board meeting.

The funding is a partial two-thirds allocation of the grant under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) grant. The first two allocated were under the previous CARES Act.  Alma Garcia, executive director of Federal and Special Programs, gave a presentation outlining the guidelines to receive the funds, which were earmarked to prevent, prepare and respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic  on South Texas students. 

Some of the guidelines include a survey sent out to parents and students on their needs to engage stakeholders in the innovation. Twenty percent of the grant funding - $2.3 million - must address evidence-based learning strategies including extended days and after-school programs. These funds will directly address the students impacted by the pandemic and focus on academic, social and emotional interventions to help them get back on track in terms of learning and other loss. 

"AISD addresses students from multiple backgrounds with a variety of different needs to help them succeed," Garcia said. "The district currently has approximately 150 homeless students and those numbers have been on a steady increase the last two years due to the oil field job decline and the pandemic. AISD supports foster care students which are approximately 30-40 students and their emotional and learning needs. The ESSER III has allocated funds to help these students not fall through the cracks. The funding will also support students that are disabled, special education and gifted and talented, all these students require unique needs." 

Garcia presented the projected planned budget of the allocated funds per budget line item addressing student learning loss, instructional technology, safety and maintenance and construction budgeted totals. 

Budget: $6,205,000- Salaries 

  • Salaries Employee Retention: $2,500,000
  • AHS Teacher Leader: $405,000
  • Summer School: $750,000
  • After School Programs: $750,000
  • Dean of Instruction: $1,000,000
  • Reading Intervionist: $800,000

Budget: $500,000- Contracted Services

  • Online tutoring programs: $200,000
  • HVAC Filters: $100,000
  • Available : $200,000

Budget: $2,546,775- Supplies

  • Supplies Smart Boards: $805,000
  • Laptops: $1,250,000
  • Air purifiers: $100,000
  • Available: $391,775

Budget: $200,000-  Other Operating Expeses 

Avaiable: $200,000.00

Budget: $1,350,000- Capital Outlay

  • Pavilion: $700,000
  • Playground Equipment: $450,000
  • ROTC pad: 200,000
  • Indirect costs: $671,168 

The full amount of the two-third allocation of $17,209,415 totals $11,472,943. 

"This is a living document and subject to change," Garcia explained. "The survey results from the parents are still being reviewed and will be discussed next week. The ESSER III federal funding plans will be posted on the AISD website. Under federal guidelines the funding must address the community needs and as the district starts putting plans in action the funding might shift in areas to address special needs or circumstances that may arise." 

"AISD is definitely thankful for the funding in support of closing the learning gap and utilizing the funds for student academic performance and safety," superintendent Carl Scarbrough added.

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