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As I See It

Did schools really need all that pandemic money?



When the government sent us stimulus checks to help offset the costs of the pandemic, and keep the economy moving, they didn’t put any restrictions on how we could spend it. Same for school districts across the country. But maybe they should have. Schools across the country, including Wisconsin, are using their share of federal pandemic response money on things that seemingly have little to do with the pandemic. In Whitewater, Wisconsin, the school district got about $2 million in pandemic relief money from the federal government. They used the majority of that, $1.6 million, to install new synthetic turf on their athletic field. A school in Iowa spent $100,000 on a new weight room for student athletes. Perhaps those improvements were needed, but spending the federal money on it doesn’t seem a response to the pandemic. It seems more like they could finally do what they previously couldn’t afford. What about improved ventilation, or virus testing, or even more hand sanitizer? How about spending the money on helping kids get graduation ready after a year of mainly virtual learning? Schools should use this money on things that benefit all students and keep them safe, not get some fancy new toys for the jocks.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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