Arkansas school seeking staff input on use of ESSER funds

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 8:50 PM CDT
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ark. (KAIT) - A social media post revealing a letter sent to the staff of a North Central Arkansas school has gained attention.

In the letter, Mountain View School District staff members are asked their opinions on how the school should spend the remainder of its ESSER funding.

The letter asks teachers to circle options of “continue with progress” or a “one-time bonus.”

Some upgrades would include installing heat and air in facilities without it, using twenty percent for a loss in learning, and adding portable building for “much-needed space.”

ESSER funds resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, helping schools get education back on track and allowing them to spend most of the money where they see fit.

Mountain View School District Superintendent Brent Howard says both sides of the argument have valid points.

“I can see both sides of this. You know, it was allotted to us to make the upgrades that we felt necessary for our campuses, but I also know things kind of changed when the teacher pay came up, and this was a way to fulfill that need, on a short-term, not a long term,” said Howard.

The superintendent believes his staff deserves a raise but also thinks facilities could use the money, making it a tough decision.

“I want my teachers paid, and I want them happy, but I also want my campus to get improvements that we so desperately need, and it’s hard for us to decide too,” said Howard.

The survey wasn’t sent to make the teachers decide, more than anything, it’s a way to hear their input on the situation.

“This wasn’t sent out to put them in a hard place,” said Howard. “This was sent out to get their thoughts on this certain subject, but in the same breath, we’re giving them the opportunity to tell us what they think.”

At the end of the day, Superintendent Howard wanted to explain one crucial factor in all of this.

“Our main priority is to make sure they get the best education that they can get,” said Howard. “Our second priority is to put together the best staff that can deliver that education, and we are going to try to do that every day here at the Mountain View School District.”

Teachers are being asked to submit their votes by Friday, and the results will be presented at the next school board meeting in September.

Arkansas school seeking staff input on use of ESSER funds
Arkansas school seeking staff input on use of ESSER funds