The financial cost of mitigating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on operations at Lakeland Union High School continues to climb, according to a school official. But some relief is in sight.
At the Dec. 14 school board meeting, director of business finance Greg Kopp reported that covid-related expenses dating back to July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year, are nearing the $140,000 mark.
“The biggest chunk of that is for substitute (teacher) pay and benefits,” he said, in addition to paraprofessional pay. The school board this past fall agreed to add staff to ease the current teaching staff’s workload and also to give struggling students additional tutoring.
There were also costs for sanitizing the building (on-going), purchasing and installing Plexiglas panels at each desk in classrooms and offices and purchasing cleaning supplies. Some expenses were for technical support and equipment for remote learning students.
Kopp said he submitted the covid budget to the state for reimbursement of much of those costs. The state has allocated $118,000 for Lakeland to cover those expenses. In addition, Kopp said the district has received some $30,000 in cash donations from businesses and others, which will offset those costs.
Kopp said he hasn’t heard if the state will dole out additional money to cover on-going covid expenses for schools.