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The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

Public Schools To Receive COVID-19 Relief Dollars

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Montana K through 12 public schools will receive an estimated $382 million in federal funds from the most recent COVID-19 relief package, according to an estimate from the Montana Governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning.

Additionally, the Montana Office of Public Instruction says non-public schools in Montana will receive $12.8 million from that same relief bill.

Pres. Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act, which appropriates about $122.7 billion nationally to help schools reopen.

The relief bill directs school districts to use 20 percent of their allocation to help children catch up after the disruption of the pandemic through programs like summer school or after school courses.

School districts may put the remaining funds toward a number of other prescribed categories, like mental health services, staff training and coronavirus response efforts.

Montana state and local governments will also receive financial relief to the tune of roughly $2.7 billion dollars, according to the Governor’s Budget Office.

Copyright 2021 Yellowstone Public Radio

Kayla Desroches reports for Yellowstone Public Radio in Billings. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and stayed in the city for college, where she hosted a radio show that featured serialized dramas like the Shadow and Suspense. In her pathway to full employment, she interned at WNYC in New York City and KTOO in Juneau, Alaska. She then spent a few years on the island of Kodiak, Alaska, where she transitioned from reporter to news director before moving to Montana.
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