KYLE, Texas (KXAN)– This week, the City of Kyle agreed to donate the last of its CARES Act funding to Hays CISD, with a fund match from the Texas Education Agency.
Mayor Travis Mitchell says $210,000 will go towards new devices for Kyle students.
Between the city’s donation and TEA match, Mitchell says a total of 2,000 new Chromebooks and 1,000 new iPads will be purchased.
A spokesperson for Hays CISD says they are “very excited about the assistance.”
Tim Savoy says they’re already closing in on $2.1 million on spending related to the pandemic.
He says the first shipment of devices is already on its way to Simon Middle School.
“I know there are kids at home… that need to be here but they can’t be here,” says Jennifer Cook, who is getting ready to welcome back some of her 8th graders at Simon on Monday.
Others will be joining online.
“If they could be logging in real-time at the same time I’m with the kids in class, I know they’ll be taken care of,” she says.
The school is short about 400 devices.
“We had to hand out some iPads as well for our virtual learners, which is not the best for middle school students. It’s better for elementary. So getting the appropriate device is going to be important,” says Michael Watson, Simon Middle School principal.
Last week, the City of Seguin made a similar commitment of $59,050 to their school district.
Seguin ISD superintendent Matthew Gutierrez says they’ve spent $1.8 million on COVID-19-related expenses, like PPE and more technology and support staff.
“We’ve been going into our fund balance to meet the needs of our staff and students,” he says.
Gutierrez says with the TEA’s match, they will receive a total of $120,000.
“These dollars will support the purchase of additional laptops and wifi hotspots to support remote learning during this pandemic,” the school district stated in a Facebook post.
Victoria Hernandez says she feels lucky to have gotten a device for each of her two girls.
She says it was especially hard for many parents to get ahold of them when schools first shut down in March.
“The school was trying to get as many devices as they could,” she remembers.
Hernandez is glad more families will now have better access to virtual learning.
“This donation will go a long way to bridge the education gap,” she says.
It’s not too late for other cities or counties to use their CARES Act funding for their school districts and get it matched by the TEA.
School districts have to get proof of the donation and submit an application to the TEA by October first. You can find more information about the process here.