A slew of actions to approve grants will fill out the new business segment of Wednesday's regular Ketchikan School Board meeting.
Five of the grants are characterized in the agenda as the Ketchikan School District's "formula continuation grants:" state and federal grants that the district applies for and accepts each year to fund its operations.
The remaining two actions on the agenda would see the board accepting COVID-19 relief funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year and from a state program that would be funneled to the district through the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.
Federal COVID-19 grant
Funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act constitutes by far the greatest amount of relief funding the board could approve on Wednesday. The first two-thirds of the program's funding for the district — the acceptance of which is the motion on Wednesday's agenda — totals more than $2.9 million.
The money can be used retroactively to cover expenditures as early as March 17, 2020, and will be able to be used on expenditures through Sept. 30, 2025.
"Through its (2022 fiscal year) budgeting process, the District sought public community input on use of COVID relief funds and the School Board has already authorized planned uses of these funds for the (2022 fiscal year)," the agenda explains. "Future years' planned use of funds will be conducted through the same process, and all unspent (2022 fiscal year) funds will be carried forward."
State COVID-19 grant
The state-level grant action on the agenda is a motion to approve $75,000 in state grant funding from the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.
In March, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly adopted a resolution allowing the borough manager to apply for and accept the State of Alaska Division of Public Health COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center Community Funding Grant — "also referred to as the Health Equity Grant," the agenda notes — in the amount of $745,485.
"The government entities receiving the funds were encouraged to partner with, and provide pass-through funding to, organizations in their community to improve efforts and increase access to COVID-19 testing within the community and build capacity to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines, while decreasing health inequities within the community," the agenda explains. "When developing the initial scope for the grant in March, staff identified the School District as a pass-through grantee that could easily accomplish the goals of the grant."
The Assembly authorized the pass-through grant funding to the district at its May 17 meeting.
Beyond those two COVID-19 grants, the board will consider accepting the following regular grant funding:
• $807,246 in consolidated grants established by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act;
• $25,000 from the state School Improvement Grant;
• $52,175 from the federal Career & Technical Education Grant;
• $617,146 in grant funds established under Title VI-B of the federal Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act; and
• $233,440 from the federal Indian Education Act Grant.
Wednesday's Ketchikan School Board meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly chambers at 1900 First Ave.
There will be time for public comment near the start of the meeting.
Wednesday's meeting agenda, which includes more detailed descriptions of grant programs and allowed uses, can be read in full on the district website at bit.ly/3w3Tlsm.