Florence 1 School District shares how it plans to spend $4.5M in federal relief funds

FSD1 set to receive money through CARES Act

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - South Carolina will receive $216 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to be allocated to school districts across the state.

Florence 1 School District will receive over $4.5 million in ESSER funds.

The amount of funding each school district receives is determined by the number of students receiving free and reduced lunch through Title I.

Florence 1 Superintendent Dr. Richard O’Malley said they plan to use their money to invest in things like technology and textbooks.

“We really believe those areas, supplies that might have been a luxury when we first prepared the budget are now those things we are going to do. It’s really going to be a big part in us accelerating our academic performance here,” said O’Malley.

O’Malley said the district received nearly $15 million after the 2008 financial collapse, so they are looking back at records of how that money was spent to ensure these new funds are spent on one time purchases.

He said the district has built its technology base for a number of years and this funding will give them the ability to accelerate their programs that are already in place.

O’Malley said the district is in a good position financially, so they plan to use half of the funding now to enhance their learning capabilities and put aside the rest for the future.

“We are probably going to use half of our money now and then save the other half, because what people don’t realize is that we may get slowly transitioned back to normal, but all of our revenues aren’t really going to feel affect until almost this time next year, so I think we want to use half of that money to plan for the future as well,” said O’Malley.

O’Malley said this crisis has shown him you can never replace a classroom teacher, so they want to invest in things that will make their jobs easier.

“Any way we can assist them during this process to make them better is what I think we are going to invest in,” said O’Malley.

The $4.5 million allocated to Florence 1 School District is more than any other school district in the Pee Dee.

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