School district seeks public input on relief funds

Student Bastien Wagner at the Mt. Eccles Elementary School library. (Feb. 9, 2021) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

The Cordova School District has asked the public for input on how to spend about $200,000 in federal grant money for which the district may be eligible. An online survey, found at cdv.tiny.us/school, asks respondents to rate items like early childhood education, facility repairs, and COVID-19 mitigation in terms of the level of support they should be offered. The survey will close Tuesday, June 22.

To be eligible for the funds, the district must seek public input on how the funds could be used. Though distribution of funds would be determined by the school district, the district wants to gauge the public’s viewpoint, Superintendent Alex Russin said.

“Any bit of information that the community can provide to the school district, and the perspectives that they might offer, are meaningful and important,” Russin said. “While survey responses don’t always strictly align to decisions that the district makes, we definitely take into consideration the responses that are given to help inform some of the decisions that we have to make.”

The school district potentially has access to over $400,000 in federal funding over the next two school years, including the roughly $200,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to which the survey applies. Signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act includes $130 billion to help reopen K-12 schools and about $40 billion for colleges and universities.

As of Tuesday, June 15, the survey had gathered about 90 responses, similar to response rates for previous surveys, Russin said. However, some past surveys have garnered upwards of 130 responses, he said.

According to a June 10 announcement, the school district aims to return to offering full days of class for students during the 2021-2022 school year.