Osceola County gives $2.2. million in Cares Act funding to schools

Funds will be used for job training, STEM programs, laptops

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Osceola County Commissioners gave Osceola County Public Schools $2.2 million in Cares Act Funding on Thursday.

School officials said the money will be used for all sorts of programs like ESOL, STEM and job training for students.

Superintendent Dr. Debra Pace said the district will also be using the money to buy 3,800 laptops to support distance learning since they had a shortage of devices earlier this year.

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Pace said the district already placed orders for new laptops.

“3,800 laptops goes a long way because as students continue to enroll in our district, there remains a need for laptop devices,” Pace said.

Pace also explained the number of cases in schools remains low right now and that all schools are open.

In August, shortly after the school year began, Harmony Middle School was forced to shutdown after several staff members contracted COVID-19. The school was able to open on Sept. 14.

“We’ve been devastated by many respects by COVID-19. So many of our families are out of work. Children are hungry and people are frightened,” Pace said.

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Though the Cares Act funds from the county will not be used for personal protective equipment for classrooms, Pace said the school district is using it’s own funding to buy those supplies.

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!