CRSD Says Months Before Impacts Of Pandemic, Derecho Known

It will likely be several more months before the Cedar Rapids School District knows the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and last month's derecho damage.

At a Monday school board meeting Superintendent Noreen Bush said the full impact likely won't be known until the spring.

“We probably will have, each month of course, we’ll be able to see what’s up and what’s down,” Bush says. “But certainly by mid-year, I think we could say, ‘This is the current impact,’ but we’ll probably have a better idea as the year moves forward into the spring.”

She says they're also waiting to see what expenses will be covered by FEMA and insurance.

The District's Executive Director for Business Services David Nicholson tells KCRG-TV 9 FEMA especially is the big question mark when it comes to covering COVID expenses.

Earlier this year, FEMA covered some pandemic-related costs, like PPE, that was used in public places, including schools. But under a new policy that goes into place Tuesday, the agency will no longer reimburse states for PPE and other COVID costs in schools.

Nicholson said the district is still waiting to find out if expenses it submitted earlier, before the new policy was announced, will be reimbursed.

“The first claim that we sent was through June 30, and that was $118,000, and we don’t know whether we’re going to get that, plus we have a lot more expenditures that occurred after June 30, and it’s not sounding really favorable right now, that we’re going to get any funding through FEMA,” Nicholson tells KCRG-TV 9.

Nicholson said if the district doesn’t receive FEMA reimbursements to help with its COVID-related expenses, it might have to use its money from the CARES Act to cover those.

(Photo from CRSD)

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