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American Rescue Plan grants over $160M to Corpus Christi

The Corpus Christi Fire Department will benefit from the $160 million granted to the city and school district by the American Rescue Plan Act. Courtesy photo

Corpus Christi ISD granted $93 million and the city given $67.5 million

Corpus Christi will receive more than $160 million through two avenues of the American Rescue Plan Act. As a response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Rescue Plan Act and the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief acts will bring in funds that can be used for infrastructure to make up for loss of income.

Texas was among the first seven states to receive plan approval from the U.S. Department of Education.

Corpus Christi Independent School District received $93 million out of over $12 billion allocated to Texas through the ARP-ESSER. The purpose of the funding is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the pandemic on the nation’s students. Corpus Christi schools will reopen for in-person classes in August.

Funds were distributed to state education agencies at the end of March. Individual school districts have until the end of July to apply for funds, which CCISD has done.

The $93 million granted to the Corpus Christi district will be used to fund a Learning Loss Mitigation Plan over the next three years, the time allowed for the use of funds, said Leanne Libby, director of communications for CCISD. The plan was put together to support pupil academic achievement and mitigate learning loss related to COVID-19 school closures. This means that teachers can concentrate on the missed learning time as well as support the mental health of students.

"The approval of these plans enables states to receive vital, additional American Rescue Plan funds to quickly and safely reopen schools for full-time, in-person learning; meet students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs; and address disparities in access to educational opportunity that were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a statement.

To break it down, Texas schools will focus on a return to in-person learning for the 2021-22 academic year, summer learning to regain lost instructional time, and the expansion of evidence-based, comprehensive after-school programs.

The other $67.5 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act was accepted and approved by the Corpus Christi City Council at the end of June. Issued by the U.S. Treasury and administered by the Governor’s Office or state agency designated by the governor, the funding will be used for infrastructure projects.

The American Rescue Plan Act provides funding to state, local, and tribal governments to help respond to the impact that COVID-19 had on their communities, residents, and businesses.

Taken into account with the COVID-19 public health emergency is its negative economic impacts. Assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits will be addressed as well as aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality that are important to Corpus Christi’s success as a city. Expenditures are not limited only to these activities.

Corpus Christi allocations include:

  • Citywide Waterline Replacement, $30 million
  • Citywide Wastewater Lift Station Upgrades, $18.4 million
  • Citywide Stormwater Improvements, $10 million
  • North Beach Drainage Improvements, $5 million
  • Construction of Fire Station #3, $4.05 million
  • Downtown Outdoor Dining Development, $100,000

“These funds are an important part of our city’s economic recovery,” Mayor Paulette M. Guajardo said in a statement. “The physical improvements to our city infrastructure will help support future growth while benefiting our residents today.”

The City Council also approved the addition of two full-time, grant-funded positions for the administration of these and other COVID-19 relief grant funds.

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