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Gov. Doug Ducey announces millions in grants for schools remaining open, following state law

Gov. Doug Ducey
Gov. Doug Ducey
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 12:30 PM MST
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PHOENIX, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday, Aug. 17, announced district and charter schools following all state laws and remaining open for in-person instruction will be eligible for $163 million in grant funding aimed at boosting per-pupil spending.

“Safety recommendations are welcomed and encouraged, mandates that place more stress on students and families aren’t,” Ducey said. “These grants acknowledge efforts by schools and educators that are following state laws and keeping their classroom doors open for Arizona’s students.”

The $163 million, made available through the federal American Rescue Plan, will be distributed through the Education Plus Up Grant program to district and charter schools following all state laws and remaining open for in-person instruction as of Aug. 27 and throughout the remainder of the school year.

Arizona lawmakers passed HB 2898, which prohibits public schools from requiring face masks, in early June but the law does not go into effect until Sept. 29.

On Monday, Aug. 16, after a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that local school districts can issue mask mandates until the law goes into effect, several districts announced they would require masks on campus.

The goal of the Education Plus Up Grant Program is to give every K-12 public and charter school the opportunity to receive up to $1,800 per-pupil funding.

In order to close a federal per-pupil funding gap, the new grant program will provide supplemental dollars to schools that did not receive as much federal funding. Education Plus Up Grant funding is contingent on being in full compliance with state law, including Laws 2021, Chapter 404, the FY 2022 K-12 Budget Reconciliation Bill for the entirety of the 2021-2022 school year.

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