ASHLAND Federal funding to offset pandemic-related expenses is on the way for non-public schools, which have been hit by the same unexpected costs as public schools.
Kentucky will get close to $41 million from the U.S. Department of Education to parcel out across the state.
“We hope this provides assistance to our non-public schools, who also have worked so hard to continue to educate our children during such an unprecedented time," Kentucky Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass said.
It is money the schools like Holy Family Catholic can well use, according to Rev. Andrew Garner, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church, which operates the school.
Holy Family has added staff, spent more on prevention and sanitation, and added classroom barriers to separate students, among other things, he said.
Computer hardware and software and training for virtual and non-traditional instruction also has been costly, he said.
All non-public schools may apply to the state for reimbursement through the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools under the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund, according to the KDE.
The funding also will cover virus-related services, according to the KDE.
That will be helpful because the unprecedented pandemic has brought with it expenses no one could have anticipated, and may continue to do so, according to Garner. “The pandemic didn’t come with a manual or a map,” he said.
The application will be online for 30 days and schools may submit applications during a three-day window starting on the 27th day. The application is expected to appear online at the end of February. No precise date has been given but the KDE says it will announce it on its website, at the Kentucky Teacher website and through social media.
Additional details are available on the KDE website at https://education.ky.gov/federal/progs/Pages/Emergency-Assistance-to-Non-Public-Schools.aspx.
Virtual training will be available through KDE and the department will notify schools of their award within 30 days of application.
“This is an education first administration and this pandemic has affected all of our schools,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “So many of our schools and educators have stepped up to take care of our children during a really trying year and we want to do all we can to assist these schools so they can continue to educate and look after our students.”
A spokesman for Rose Hill Christian School could not be reached for comment.