JONESBORO — Public school system officials from metro area counties joined Sen. Jon Ossoff on Monday at a press conference where they pledged to reopen their classrooms to full-time in-person learning this fall with the help of more than $4 billion in federal funding for Georgia schools.
The press conference was hosted by Clayton County Schools Superintendent Morcease Beasley. Clayton County schools expect to receive $189.2 million from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that President Joe Biden signed in March. The plan includes $122 billion in economic relief to help public schools shut down by the pandemic reopen safely.
“This has been a really, really tough time for parents who have had to deal with partial school closures, for educators who have had to adapt to the realities of this pandemic, most of all for your people who over this past year didn’t get the kind of experiences because of the public health crisis that we wanted to make sure we could offer them,” Ossoff said.
Ossoff said the legislation gives local school systems broad discretion over how they plan to use the stimulus money.
Beasley said parents have made it clear they wanted their children to get back into their classrooms as soon as possible.
“These funds we’re receiving today are going to allow us to provide opportunities for our students not only to learn content they may have missed over this pandemic but to ensure that they have social experiences that will add value to their lives,” he said.
Beasley said school systems need to work to close the literacy and numeracy gaps that were highlighted by the pandemic. He also spoke out in support of universal pre-k.
The federal funds are going to school districts around the state primarily based on their student populations. Here is a breakdown of the top-10 recipients:
School District Allocation
DeKalb County, $320.6 million
Gwinnett County, $265.2 million
Atlanta, $193.0 million
Clayton County, $189.2 million
Cobb County, $182.3 million
Fulton County, $173.9 million
Richmond County, $112.4 million
Bibb County, $106.3 million
Muscogee County, $96.3 million
Chatham County, $95.2 million