Edinburg CISD adjusting budget for end of federal pandemic funds

Edinburg CISD adjusting budget for end of federal pandemic funds
1 month 1 week 2 days ago Tuesday, May 14 2024 May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024 11:30 PM May 14, 2024 in News - Local

School districts across the country are trying to figure out how much money they will have in their next school year as pandemic-era funding comes to an end.

The La Joya Independent School District announced they’re facing a $20 million deficit because 556 employees were being paid with COVID-19 relief funds that school districts will no longer have access too.

READ MORE: La Joya ISD considering layoffs to avoid $20 million deficit

Marsha Gonzalez, president of Edinburg CISD's Teacher Union, said she believes Edinburg CISD is prepared for the loss of those pandemic-era funds.

“We are in a lot better situation financially than some of our surrounding neighbors,” Gonzalez said.

In 2020, Congress set aside a combined $190 billion in coronavirus aid relief for elementary and secondary schools.

Some districts used money from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund to help tackle learning loss, new AC and heating systems, or to help students with emotional problems caused by the pandemic. 

In some cases, ESSER funds were used to hire extra staff, meaning the district might not have a way to keep up with that added cost once the funding ended.

“We had a lot of employees that were ESSER funded, and we have been slowly moving them over to our regular funds,” Gonzalez said.

The district says it has enough money in its general fund to absorb some of the people hired using federal pandemic funds.

“We wanted to avoid that cliff,” Edinburg CISD Director for elementary Schools Sandra Avila said. “I know that our board is very committed to not letting go of anyone. We know everybody that we have right now, they're there because we need them.”

To make up the loss in aid money, Edinburg CISD will reduce the number of campuses offering summer programs from 31 to eight. The district is also cutting the time librarians have for curriculum writing to shift their focus to core subjects.

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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