Area school districts discuss plans for American Rescue Plan funding

Local News

GREENE CO., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Indiana public schools received a combined total of nearly  $1.8 billion from the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan.

Vigo County received $30 million, Vincennes received $6 million and Eastern Greene came out with just over $1 million in federal funding.

Trent Provo, Eastern Greene Schools superintendent, said they’ve began discussing several spending options.  

“I think this next round is going to focus on cleaning and making sure we’re doing a good job with cleaning,” he said. “Some social emotional training for staff students and parents. A lot of the other planning is still to come.”

The funding allows schools to reimburse any unexpected costs as a result of COVID-19 as well address any infrastructure needs.

Greg Parsley, Vincennes Community Schools superintendent, said they may use the funding for renovation projects.  

“It becomes that added value that we can continue to refine what we’re doing internally. As I said we reimburse some of those things that we’ve already spent money on. But when I look at the Washington Learning Academy building, we can bring that building more in line with our other buildings that we have in Vincennes. It’s not going to happen overnight,” he explained.

For Vigo county schools, Superintendent Rob Haworth said they’re still in the early planning phase.

“Some goals that we met that we thought would take us five years, we did in five months. There is great responsibility with the spending of those federal funds,” Haworth noted. “So I believe we need to go back into strategic planning in may in order to address exactly where we think those dollars should be spent.”

Parsley said without the funding certain projects may have been pushed back.

“This is an opportunity to be able to do some of those capital projects items that we were probably looking at 2023, 2024. Instead we can move those projects up as a result of the Esser funds,” Parsley said.

Provo said he’s looking forward to what administrators come up with that will benefit students in the long run.

“It’s plugging those holes and those gaps that we had  for kids and teachers. It’s taking limitations we had and turning them into ‘wow we can do some things here.'”

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