Polk County schools will get a small funding boost to help serve students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The State Board of Education allocated a total of $6 million to school districts statewide last week, with Polk School District set to receive $29,156.
“It is critical that we ensure students who receive special education services do not fall behind as a result of the pandemic,” Superintendent Richard Woods said in a Thursday release from the Georgia Department of Education.
Several other local school districts are also getting extra funds to help instruction of special education students, including Rome City and Floyd County schools.
Floyd County Schools will get $36,284 from the pot of federal funds and Rome City Schools is in line for $23,100.
Half the award comes from the CARES Act, the COVID-19 stimulus bill. The other half is drawn from a supplement to the annual IDEA 611 grant that supports special education and related services.
The amount was based on each district’s IDEA funding for the current fiscal year.
Awards to other Northwest Georgia school systems include:
♦ $24,976 to Gordon County and $12,746 to Calhoun City;
♦ $11,646 to Chattooga County and $4,528 to Trion City;
♦ $49,060 to Bartow County and $14,474 to Cartersville City;
♦ $32,134 to Walker County and $3,608 to Chickamauga City;
♦ $35,700 to Catoosa County; and
♦ $8,104 to Dade County Schools.
The effects of the pandemic – both the school closures in the spring and the virtual learning options districts are offering this fall – mean some districts are facing additional costs related to special education services.
For example, implementing an Individualized Education Program in the distance-learning setting or offering therapies remotely may require additional resources.
Funding also was allocated to nontraditional schools, including $33,736 to the Georgia Cyber Academy, $2,596 to the Georgia Department of Corrections program and $5,914 to the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.