“Having more money than we expected is a good problem to have,” Logan told the board.
“And we have seen challenges from this pandemic but we have also seen opportunities,” she said referring to funding being used to pay for the extra services forced on the district – and others in Ohio – in dealing with the coronavirus’ impact on student learning.
Lakota’s annual operating budget is more than $177 million.
The ESSER grants have come in three stages since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 and Lakota is expected to receive more than $12 million in the most recent phase of federal monies.
Some of the federal funding comes with stipulations it must be spent on the nationally prevalent “learning loss” caused by coronavirus’ disruption of learning. Lakota and other Ohio districts will be allowed to spend the money through 2024.
One board member said he knows where he’d like to see the money go.
Member Brad Lovell said, “we need to keep getting learning devices (laptops) into our students’ hands.”
Lakota was one of the first districts in the region to provide free laptops to students in grades 7-12 and officials have said they hope to expand that program into younger grades in the future.