Gov. Tony Evers announced on Thursday that 155 local education agencies are eligible to apply for $46.6 million in federal funds Wisconsin received through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER Fund), established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“It’s vital to ensure the schools across Wisconsin that are most significantly impacted by COVID-19 have the additional resources they need as they make decisions about how students will learn in the upcoming school year and beyond,” Evers said in a statement announcing the education funds. “This funding stream will help support students, teachers, and parents who are navigating uncertainty in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The state has set eligibility criteria for schools based on economic disadvantage, access to personal computing devices, access to the internet, and students’ score on the English Language Arts Assessment. Wisconsin’s three tribal schools will also receive the same per pupil payment as the 155 local education authorities, which include public school districts as well as charter and voucher schools. The GEER Fund comes on top of $174.8 million that Wisconsin received through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund).
“It’s commendable that Gov. Evers is doing what he can to get needed funds to schools in the pandemic,” said Chris Theil, legislative policy analyst for the Milwaukee Public School District.
Milwaukee public schools qualify for $10,829,315 according to the governor’s office. The Madison Metropolitan School District could receive $3,892,190. Green Bay could see $2,936,036, while smaller districts qualify for smaller amounts, including $81,347 for Hayward and $33,495 for La Farge.
Independent charter and voucher schools that can apply for GEER money include Rocketship Education Wisconsin ($97,007) and Milwaukee Collegiate Academy ($197,640)
In a press release announcing the GEER funds the governor’s office included a map
of the state showing the school districts that have felt the heaviest effects of COVID-19, as well as a list
of individual schools and districts eligible for GEER funds and the amounts they can receive if they apply.