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CTNewsJunkie: Connecticut School Districts Near $1 Billion in Federal Pandemic Relief Spending

Hugh McQuaid, CTNewsJunkie

October 20, 2023 - 2 minutes

Connecticut school districts have spent $981 million of a total $1.7 billion in federal pandemic relief funds meant to offset the costs of educational expenses like paying teachers and improving facilities, according to a Thursday update by the School + State Finance Project.

The group has tracked the federal support states have received and spent through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. The fund has been supported by three separate tranches of federal money, each with its own deadline to spend the dollars.

Connecticut has already spent 99% of the first portion, which was funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and comes with an extended April 1, 2024 deadline, according to the group.

The state has spent 84% of the second pot of money, funded by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, and has around $78.5 million left to spend before an extended March 31, 2025 deadline.

Meanwhile, the state has spent only 41% of the final tranche, funded by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. That leaves nearly $650 million for districts to spend before a deadline in early 2025 or March of 2026 if the state receives a federal extension.

According to the School + State Finance Project’s analysis, Connecticut’s spending from each pot of money is comparable to that of the nearby states of Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island.

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