Kentucky schools will receive over $200 million in education funds from the federal CARES Act. The bill, which passed March 27, splits those funds in two categories.

The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund for the state will receive around $193 million. The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund will receive around $30 million.

Christian County Public Schools will receive around $3.5 million from the pot.

A little over $500,000 from the GEER fund will be allowed to the district. Those funds will be utilized strictly for remote learning technology and food services.

CCPS has served food each week since the schools moved to non-traditional instruction in March.

CCPS Superintendent Mary Ann Gemmill said Gov. Andy Beshear has left the use of ESSER funds up to local superintendents, within parameters.

She said last Friday, the district sent the mandated assurance to the state saying that it needed the funds. The GREER funds can be spent in many different areas.

“(Future CCPS Superintendent Christopher Bentzel) will have some flexibility,” Gemmill said. “He can prioritize, based upon the amount of money we receive, which of those allowable expenses will be the best use of the money for Christian County.”

ESSER funds could be spent for summer learning, Gemmill said.

“For example, how can we fill a gap over the summer,” she said. “How can we get kids ready to come back to school?”

Those funds could also be used for professional development of CCPS staff. Gemmill said that although the staff will probably not be in house over the summer, the ESSER funds could be used to train staff remotely.

Other allowable expenses could be sanitizers to use while the district prepares for students to eventually return to in-person instruction.

“We certainly are going to be talking about opening school,” Gemmill said. “And Mr. Bentzel and his team, they’re going to have a lot of conversations and put a lot of thought in this. But you’re going to have additional sanitizers and thermometers for example.”

Bentzel officially becomes the superintendent July 1. He will present his plan to spend the ESSER funds later that month.

Reach Jon Russelburg at 270-887-3241 or

Reach Jon Russelburg at 270-887-3241 or

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