Colorado schools, universities to get $300 million from federal relief package

Colorado school districts and higher education institutions will share about $300 million from the economic stimulus package passed by federal lawmakers.

The Colorado Department of Education expects to have more information about the funds and how they might be distributed to school districts in the coming days.

In total, the federal economic stimulus bill includes $13.5 billion for schools. Federal guidelines call for the money to be distributed based on the number of students from low-income families in the district.

The department must distribute at least 90% of the money to school districts which will then be able to use the money for a wide variety of things including to help students with special needs, and those who are homeless or from low-income families, and to pay for other responses such as sanitation, staff training, and remote learning.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ordered all schools in the state to be closed through at least April 30 and has said they should prepare for the likely possibility that they may not return to in-person learning this school year. Districts have scrambled to provide remote learning opportunities during the extended closures and have spent money to help provide more students access to technology and internet from home.

School districts may also receive some of the about $3 billion set aside for governors to give to school districts that have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus.

School nutrition programs will also receive money, from a separate pot.