HELENA — Montana schools will receive nearly $13 million in additional coronavirus relief funds before Dec. 30, Gov. Steve Bullock announced Wednesday.
Public and private schools were allowed to request additional funding in October after Bullock directed $75 million in July from the state’s coronavirus relief funds to K-12 schools. More than 180 schools were approved for additional funding.
The new funding includes about $5.7 million in unspent funding from the original $75 million allocated to schools and about $7.2 in newly allocated funds.
Federal coronavirus relief funds must be spent by the end of December and Bullock called on Congress to pass additional school financing relief for 2021.
“While this additional funding will serve our schools with continued needs through the end of this year, our schools head into the new year empty handed,” Bullock, a Democrat, said in a statement.
The new school funding was announced as the number of COVID-19 cases in the state remains high.
State health officials reported more than 1,000 newly confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases since the pandemic began to over 58,000. It is likely there are far more cases because not everyone is tested and studies show some people can have COVID-19 without having symptoms.
More than 460 people in Montana were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday. The state has reported 652 deaths related to the virus.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
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