Joint Finance moves some federal education funds to schools that held in person classes

Republican members of the state’s Joint Finance Committee have reallocated some federal school funding to prioritize school districts who were open for in person classes this year.

Co-Chair Senator Howard Marklein says schools ought to be rewarded for bringing kids back to school buildings. 

“The motion before us today provides an incentive to those districts that have been doing the right thing and by offering in-person instruction. It also provides an incentive for those schools that are not currently open to in-person instruction.”

But Democrat Senator Jon Erpenbach says that Republicans are being punitive for school districts that had to make a tough choice to move to remote learning.

“Teachers adapted quickly. Administrators adapted quickly. Parents adapted quickly, and the kids adapted quickly. They shouldn’t be punished for that. Individual school districts, through their boards, their elected boards, made their own decisions based on what their community as a whole wanted. They shouldn’t be punished for that.”

The move redirects around $66 million dollars in funding from the program. Another 615 million dollars is directly awarded by the federal government and cannot be moved.