Our Lady of Peace Catholic School is receiving $1.4 million in federal funding.
The announcement from the South Carolina Department of Education stated that 19 nonpublic schools in South Carolina received $15 million as part of the second round of allocations under the Emergency Assistant to Non-Public Schools program. The program was originally authorized under the 2021 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, and it continued under the American Rescue Plan.
“Congress appropriated EANS funding to states to ensure that children who attend private and parochial schools have access to the resources needed to rebound from the pandemic,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “The South Carolina Department of Education has administered these funds in coordination with the Governor’s Office and with the help and support of our non-public school partners know that they will be used to serve the best interests of students, families, and educators.”
The governor's office applied for the ARP EANS grant in September 2021, and South Carolina was awarded $40.56 million. Of that, $40,357,466 was available for nonprofit, nonpublic schools that were eligible. There were several eligibility requirements, including that the schools had to be established as a nonprofit, exist prior to March 13, 2020, be licensed, accredit, or otherwise approved to operate in accordance with state law, not received a PPP loan, have enrolled at least 20% of students from low-income families during the 2020-2021 school year, and has been been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Catholic schools in South Carolina have experienced tremendous challenges in a COVID-19 environment; however, because of a strong partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education, we’ve been able to meet the demands of this unusual time with more resources for our most important asset: the children of South Carolina,” said Michael Acquilano, Director of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston.
According to the S.C. Department of Education, the funds can be used in several ways, including to purchase supplies to disinfect, sanitize and clean school facilities, PPE equipment, improving ventilation systems, training for staff on the use of PPE, sanitization, and lowering the spread of infectious diseases, physical barriers to help with social distancing, other supplies recommended by the CDC to help safely reopen school facilities, educational technology, and reasonable transportation costs.