Florida schools still have hundreds of millions to spend in CARES Act money

Florida schools still have hundreds of millions to spend in CARES Act money, and according to Florida education committees, most of them only spent less than half of it. 

Over the summer, Florida schools received roughly $700 million in federal CARES Act money to help pay for COVID-related costs, but school districts are running out of ways to spend that cash.

"Our education system is flooded with cash right now," said Florida Representative and Pre-K-12 Appropriations Committee Chair Randy Fine.

Fine says school boards hit the lottery.

"Brevard County got $17 million in the first CARES Act chunk," Fine said. 

According to the Pre-K-12 Appropriations Subcommittee numbers, statewide, school districts have spent an average of 40% of their total funds. Some districts like Lake County have spent less than 20% of their funds so far.

Brevard County Public Schools says it has spent over half of the money last week. Officials said they are using most of those funds on COVID-related gear, but also have on-going discussions about spending money on things that would help virtual learning, things like laptops and hot spots.

"COVID has been the greatest stimulator of K-12 education funding in the history of education funding," Fine said.
There is yet another stimulus package being discussed right now in Congress. Fine says it could give up to $10 billion to school districts nationwide if approved.