Maryland is using the lure of big money to reopen some classrooms this fall, offering $10 million in grants to school systems to help prepare for in-person instruction.
Just a day after the state announced new lows in its coronavirus positivity rate, the Maryland State Department of Education, encouraging in-person instruction, is offering school systems grants of at least $200,000 each to get buildings and transportation ready for returning students.
School systems are asked to apply for the funding by Oct. 2 by outlining plans for in-person learning this fall.
The grants, which will also include an additional amount per student, will be provided by the second quarter of the school year, a news release said.
The decision to reopen school buildings remains in the hands of county school boards, but the state is hoping the grant money provides some incentive.
“This additional $10 million in funds will assist schools in reopening and safely getting some of our kids back into classrooms and into healthy and supportive learning environments,” said Gov. Larry Hogan.
The money is provided from federal emergency funding to elementary and secondary schools.
“It is our responsibility to make sure that school buildings reopen safely as soon as possible so that every child has access to a high quality, meaningful education,” said State Superintendent Karen B. Salmon in a statement.
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