Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson has designated $10 million of the county’s roughly $203 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act monies to help meet the needs of the five school districts within the county boundaries.
The county will direct $3.8 million to the Granite School District, $1.6 million to the Jordan School District, $1.4 million to the Canyons School District, $2.7 million to the Salt Lake City School District and about $444,000 to the Murray School District, the mayor said.
The breakdown of the funding to school districts was based on student population and what schools are located in higher-need areas. Data suggests areas where Title 1 schools are located have been hardest-hit by the virus, and therefore an infusion of additional resources in those areas is warranted, according to county officials.
“We looked at both the need per school, but also recognized there is a disproportionate concern with technology in areas that are also areas with a high rate of COVID-19,” Wilson said. She said the aim is to close any digital equity gaps within the county.
The grants to the school are conditional. The school districts can only spend the money on specific COVID-19 needs, including personal protective equipment, overtime for teachers, recording technology for at-home students, laptops or other distance-learning equipment.