March 26, 2021 – The Georgia Department of Education is providing more than $5 million in state reserve funds from the CARES Act to help Georgia school districts expand nursing services.
The funds – a total of $5,829,574 – will be provided to every school district and GNETS facility in the state, and can be used to fund additional school nursing personnel, supplies, telehealth services, and similar needs. School nurses are on the frontlines of several districts' vaccination efforts.
“We know that school nurses play a critical role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in schools – and in ensuring students' health and well-being at all times," State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Unfortunately, we also know that funding for school nursing services can be limited. These funds will help school districts expand school nursing staffing or resources for the benefit of all students."
Funds were allocated to each school district based on the state funding formula for school nurses, with a $15,000 minimum allocation applied, ensuring small or rural school districts receive an adequate amount of base funding.
Georgia has received three allocations of federal relief funds during the COVID-19 pandemic – CARES 1, CARES 2, and American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. The funds provided for school nursing services are the remainder of the state reserve portion of CARES 1 funds. State reserve funds are intended to address statewide needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic and public schools.