State Board issues emergency relief funding recommendations

The State Board of Education Monday sent Gov. Brad Little recommendations for spending about $15.7 million in coronavirus relief funds.

The board voted unanimously to recommend funding three areas:

  • Technology infrastructure and faculty professional development for remote learning at Idaho’s public colleges and universities.
  • Partnerships between Idaho Public Television and Idaho Digital Learning Academy to expand remote K-6 curriculum, instruction and support.
  • Developing or acquiring curriculum and instructional support for virtual or online career-technical education.

The funding would come from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, one of a few funds established by the federal CARES Act to address the coronavirus pandemic.

Little has almost $15.7 million in GEER Fund money at his disposal.

The State Board did not vote to prioritize the recommendations, but the universities broke down their funding requests.

  • Boise State University: $1.4 million.
  • College of Western Idaho: More than $1 million.
  • Idaho State University: $1 million.
  • College of Eastern Idaho: $928,000.
  • University of Idaho: $786,847.
  • Lewis-Clark State College: $589,795.
  • North Idaho College: $589,450.
  • College of Southern Idaho: $331,000.

The $15.7 million represents only a portion of the $101 million in CARES Act money for Idaho education. Idaho will receive a separate $47.9 million for K-12 and $37.8 million for higher education.

The recommendations discussed Monday reflect the realities Boise State and University of Idaho included in their plans to reopen in the fall. According to those plans, reopening is likely to include a mix of face-to-face classes, online courses and blended courses.

The State Board made the meeting available for Idahoans to follow via a live stream on its Facebook page and a telephone conference call.


Clark Corbin

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