VIRUS OUTBREAK-SCHOOL FUNDING
As the federal government releases historic sums of pandemic aid to the nation’s schools, it’s urging them to dream big, to invest in seismic changes that will benefit students for generations to come. But many districts say they have more urgent problems to tackle first. Large, urban districts are putting much of their pandemic relief toward practical needs, such as hiring nurses, restocking libraries and fixing playgrounds. So far, though, there’s little evidence of major change, despite an infusion of pandemic relief aid that is four times the amount the U.S. Department of Education sends to K-12 schools in a typical year. By Collin Binkley, Geoff Mulvihill, Camille Fassett and Larry Fenn. 1,500 words. Photos. Video. Graphics With AP data distribution. An abridged version also is moving.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SCHOOL FUNDING-VIRTUAL SCHOOLS
While other schools were scrambling to shift classes online last year, the nation’s virtual charter schools faced little disruption. In their industry, online learning was already the norm. Yet when Congress sent $190 billion in pandemic relief to America’s schools, an AP investigation finds that virtual charters received shares just like any other school. Officials at the virtual schools say the funding was needed to serve a wave of students who transferred from traditional schools during the pandemic. But leaders of some traditional schools wonder why any money went to virtual charters that didn’t have to pivot to online learning and don’t have to worry about pandemic measures such as social distancing or sanitizing. By Collin Binkley. 1,100 words. Photos.
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