Pandemic aid for Utah just keeps growing.

The state’s schools received another $205 million in federal pandemic funding recently to help address the most critical needs created by the pandemic, the Utah State Board of Education announced.

“The Utah State Board of Education and the state’s school districts and charter schools intend to put this much-welcome funding to work mitigating the pandemic’s impacts on students, teachers and families and create educational success for the long term,” Sydnee Dickson, state superintendent of education, said in a release. “Utah’s plan builds upon the existing state actions to keep students in school as we seek to address their personalized needs for the future.”

Dickson said the U.S. Department of Education has approved the state’s plans for how the funding will be used, allowing Utah to receive the money. In total, Utah has received $615 million in American Rescue Plan funds meant to help schools reopen and recover from the pandemic.

The State School Board distributed a survey to schools throughout the state in the spring to look into the impact of COVID-19 on all student subgroups. The board is “actively collecting school level data on lost instructional time,” which it will use to determine the most critical needs for those who have been most impacted by the pandemic. Utah used some of the funding to establish health and safety protocols to help schools return to in-person learning in the 2020-21 school year, according to the statement.

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