Tolbert says money will be allocated to virtual learning and development programs

(July 3, 2020) Worcester County will receive $61,988 in funding from the state and federal government for technology improvements, community college workforce development programs, rural broadband initiatives, and other priorities in response to the covid-19 pandemic. 

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Vince Tolbert

According to Vince Tolbert, chief financial officer for Worcester County Public Schools, this was allocated from $45.6 million in CARES Act funding related to the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. Of that, $10 million was made available to local school districts to apply for, said Tolbert. 

“Staff is currently working to identify how this additional funding can be best utilized to best benefit our students,” Tolbert said. 

On Monday, Gov. Larry Hogan made another announcement regarding education funding — $210 million for remote learning and targeted tutoring for students most affected by covid-19. This funding is also through the CARES Act, but has not yet been broken down to the individual school districts. 

“Worcester is pleased to see both our governor and state superintendent realize the challenges that remote learning have presented to our students, especially our at-risk students, and are allocating additional resources to help this area,” Tolbert said. 

On Wednesday, the state Board of Public Works reviewed potential education cuts, but rejected them. Some of the potential cuts were $12.4 million in grants to low-income school districts, $71.8 million in teacher retirement and $25 million in other cuts, such as the Healthy Schools Facilities Fund and reimbursements to child care subsidy providers.  

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