Sudie L. Williams Talented and Gifted Academy. Photo by Jessica Turner.

Texas state officials announced public school districts would receive $11.2 billion in federal funds in one-time payments to help deal with learning loss and costs caused by COVID-19.

The release of the funds, which was announced April 28 by Gov. Greg Abbott and other state leaders, builds on about $2.2 billion in federal funds already given to Texas to help public schools respond to the pandemic.

Two-thirds of the funds can be administered immediately by Texas Education Agency (TEA) grants, but the remaining third can only be released if approved by the U.S. Department of Education. The grant application opens April 29.

Dallas ISD is expected to receive about $362 million in the first allocation (two-thirds). Go here to see a list of what other school districts are expected to receive.

The funds must be spent by September 2024, according to TEA guidelines. They can help pay for: summer and after school programs; learning acceleration; supplies to sanitize and clean; activities that address the needs of certain groups such as low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, and racial and ethnic minority students; mental health services; facility repairs and improvements; and maintaining the employment of existing staff.

However, at least 20% of the money must be spent on “evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning, extended day comprehensive after-school programs, or extended school year programs” and making sure the interventions address the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on certain student populations, including students experiencing homelessness and students in foster care.

To learn more about the funds, go here.