Billions in relief aid heading to Mass. schools, how will it be spent – Boston 25 News


MEDFORD, Mass. — At the McGlynn School in Medford, first graders have wrapped up their first full week back in the classroom. They’re all masked up. Desks are surrounded by plexiglass. And students take part in routine pool testing for COVID-19.

It’s all part of the precautions to ensure a safe return to school during the ongoing pandemic. Those precautions add up.

“We’ve spent as a city, over four and a half million on our schools,” said Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn.

Mayor Lungo-Koehn says they’ve improved HVAC systems, purchased personal protective equipment, and upgraded technology. And, work remains to be done.

But Medford, like school districts across the state, is getting a big cash infusion through the American Rescue Plan.

The Biden administration’s massive COVID-19 relief plan is sending $3.1 billion dollars to Massachusetts schools.

Medford with get more than $5.5 million of that.

“It’s going to allow us to address academic needs, social-emotional learning needs, physical needs, to address all the needs of the whole child,” said Superintendent Dr. Marice Edouard-Vincent. It’s especially important now that kids are back in classrooms full-time, he added.

Assistant Speaker of the House, Massachusetts Congresswoman Katherine Clark, was in Medford Thursday highlighting the ARP funding for schools.

She spoke one-on-one with anchor and investigative reporter, Kerry Kavanaugh.

“Is there something that stands out to you as the most salient thing that get these kids back on track,” Kavanaugh asked.

“You know what, it is being in school, and it is being back with their friends back with their teachers,” said Clark.

And a return to school helps overcome the inequities of remote learning.

Clark said the rescue plan money for education, will address the cost of reopening safely and ensuring schools remain open.

25 Investigates examined the money and found it’s allocated, in part, based on a school district’s size and need.

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