The Kern High School District is not only the largest school district in Kern County, but the largest high school district in the state, with 40,000 students.
That’s why the $101 million in CARES funds they’re slated to receive from the state and federal governments combined, KHSD trustee Jeff Flores said, matter.
“Money doesn’t solve everything, but it does make a difference in terms of resources we can provide our students,” Flores said.
So far, KHSD has received $54 million of that money, putting it toward school “strategic spending and personnel” for psychologists, intervention staff and nurses.
“Health is paramount,” Flores said. “Due to the social and emotional toll of this pandemic, we have to be ready to assist our students and parents.”
Money has also gone toward technological support for students that need it during the pandemic, such as hotspots, internet access, learning management systems and devices like Chromebooks.
“There is a digital divide. That’s something that’s really real in our community,” Flores said. “It’s critically important that we give the students without the resources access to the learning, especially during a time like this when it’s all 100 percent virtual learning.”
The $47 million remaining has not been voted on yet. Once it does get here, the funds will possibly go toward PPE, supplies, staff testing, and their summer school program.
“To make up for some of the learning loss this year, and have a robust summer program,” Flores said. “We’ll have the most robust summer program in the district’s history for students to catch up.”
Flores said the money will need to last for the next one to two years.