Leominster Schools Superintendent Paula Deacon said there is a plan in place to spend nearly $12 million the district will receive in federal COVID-19 relief and state funds.
“With this funding, we are able to update infrastructure and security components throughout the district,” Deacon said Friday, February 4. We are also looking to hire more nurses and guidance staff to support student well-being. This funding made it possible to [Leominster Public Schools] an outstanding school district.
Deacon joined Leominster representatives in Boston and Washington for a Jan. 31 press conference at Bennett School, one of two public preschools in the city, where the scholarships were announced.
The school district will receive $11,193,495 from the third round of awards from the Federal Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER), enacted as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, along with $650,000 $ in the state budget.
The ESSER Fund was originally created in 2020 as part of the CARES Act, the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Leominster got $1,264,914 in round one to help the district deal with COVID, plus $4,990,554 in round two to help “safely reopen schools and effectively measure and address significant learning loss.” , according to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.
State funding will be used for new portable classrooms in the city’s elementary schools ($300,000), upgrades to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and water filtration systems ($250,000). $000) and a feasibility study for a new early childhood education center ($100,000).
In a press release announcing the federal and state funds, Cronin said Leominster and north-central Massachusetts face “an incredible wide range of complex challenges,” while Higgins said investments in buildings like the ‘Bennett School’ ensure every student passes through Leominster Public Schools has a great launch pad.
“Teachers and schools have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that every student and every family has the tools they need to learn and grow. The federal and state resources, when this pandemic hit, just weren’t there,” McGovern said. “Thanks to President Biden and congressional Democrats, the US bailout has delivered nearly $130 billion in investments in schools. We see the results of that action here in Leominster.