Greenville Co. Schools to spend $38.5 million to help struggling students

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Following a surge of failing grades in the fall semester of the 2020-2021 school year, Greenville County Schools is looking to spend $38.5 million in CARES Act funds to improve learning and to combat slipping academic performances.

The district reports roughly 15,000 students — about 20 percent of its entire population — received at least one failing grade in the fall semester. Because the district attributes the drop in grades to the coronavirus pandemic, it can use dollars from the CARES Act to counteract the decline.

“We can use it in any manner that we see fit, as long as it relates to COVID,” GCS Spokesman Tim Waller said. “And, what better expenditure for CARES Act funds than helping students bring their grades up during these difficult times.”

Waller said this is the largest, most ambitious remedial expenditure ever proposed by the district. It aims to hire and retain new teachers and tutors, to expand summer school and transportation thereto, to employ interventionists and more.

If approved by the district at its Feb. 23 meeting, the plan would take effect. Here is how the money is proposed to be spent for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year:

  • Elementary interventionists and materials — $1.828 million
  • K-12 before- and after-school tutoring — $2.7 million
  • High school tutoring during school hours — $400,000
  • High school aides — $1 million
  • K-12 summer school (including transportation for all students) — $7.51 million

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