IOWA, USA — Iowa recently declined $95,029,161 in federal funding for the "Emergency Infections ELC Reopening Schools," which was meant for COVID-19 aid to school districts.
ELC is support given to school systems that discusses how to reopen safely with guidance on testing and screenings
The state's reasoning behind declining the money was that they had "ample funding and testing capacity available to school districts in Iowa to do just that," according to a letter from Interim Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health Kelly Garcia.
The letter details how students have been successfully in schools since August, and IDPH has been committed to keeping students safe and trying to prevent and control Covid-19 since then.
The decision to decline the federal money was made in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Education.
In the letter, the state does ask if their funding needs change, they have the opportunity to reconsider being able to accept the money.
But for now, IDPH said the Iowa Department of Education and Schools have the available funds below to continue with testing:
- ESSER I: $6, 654, 222
- ESSER II $331, 542, 958
- ESSER III: $770,643,635
IDPH also noted testing for teachers and students remains a strong priority.