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Here’s what local school districts are spending on COVID-19 safety

Desk shields represent most expensive safety investment by districts

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – As districts prepare to reopen buildings for the new school year this fall, education leaders are outfitting their facilities with the equipment and supplies to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

News4Jax requested expense records from school districts across the area. The responses are listed below.

Note: These cost breakdowns only reflect district spending and not school-level or classroom-level expenditures.

Duval County School District

The Duval County School District has spent more than $10 million dollars in COVID-19 related expenses as of August 4, according to records from the district’s 10740 fund.

The fund is used by the district to “categorize expenditures specifically addressing COVID-19 costs.”

The expenses listed in the fund total $10,377,491 and include school supplies, mobile hotspots to help with distance learning and, of course, facemasks and face shields.

The document below shows all the expenses from the fund through June 26.

This next document shows all the expenses in the 10740 fund through Aug 4.

Duval County had 130,299 students enrolled in the 2019-2020 academic year. Using that enrollment as an estimate, DCPS is poised to spend at least $80 per student on COVID-19 related costs.

St. Johns County School District

As of July 22, the school district in St. Johns County has spent more than $2.2 million on supplies and equipment related to COVID-19 safety.

More than half of those expenses were spent on desk shields for classrooms, on which the district spent $1,637,518.

This photo was provided by the St. Johns County School District and shows on of the desk partitions meant to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
This photo was provided by the St. Johns County School District and shows on of the desk partitions meant to help curb the spread of COVID-19. (Courtesy: St. Johns County School District)

Some of SJCSD’s other top COVID-19 expenses include $147,519 for classroom thermometers and $110,282 for cloth masks and headscarves for students.

A breakdown of the St. Johns County School District’s expenses can be viewed below.

The district expects to have slightly less than 44,000 students for the 2020-2021 academic year, meaning the St. Johns County School District is spending about $50 per student in COVID-19 related costs.

The school district in St. Johns County approved a new academic calendar and instructional continuity plan during a board meeting Tuesday night.

Clay County School District

The COVID-19 related financial information provided by the Clay County School District was segregated into columns for money already spent by the district, labeled “expenses,” and amounts that have been designated for a specific cost, labeled “encumbrances.”

As of July 30, the district has spent $257,670 on hot spots, custodial supplies and printing costs. That amount also includes $103,381 in salary and benefits for employee duties related to COVID-19.

The total amount still budgeted to battle the virus is $1,411,157.

A full breakdown of COVID-19 expenses from the Clay County School District can be viewed below.

With 38,284 students enrolled in the 2019-2020 academic year, Clay County is poised to spend approximately $44 per student on COVID-19 related safety costs.

Nassau County School District

At least $453,000 has been spent by the Nassau County School District on COVID-19 related costs as of Tuesday.

The biggest expenditure so far is $250,000 for plexiglass dividers, which accounts for more than half of the total spent.

A breakdown of the NCSD’s expenses can be viewed below.

Data from the 2019-2020 academic year shows that 12,255 students attended institutions in the Nassau County School District. Based on last year’s enrollment, about $37 per student is being spent on COVID-19 related expenses.

Nassau County’s school board approved its reopening plan on July 23, which includes a delayed start date of August 24.

Putnam County School District

Receipts in the school district in Putnam County have so far totaled $592,180, but a spokesperson said that amount will likely grow.

“These are our current expenditures from those that returned the email,” public information officer Felicia Cahan told News4Jax Wednesday. “I know there’s more but wanted to provide timely information.”

Putnam County schools are scheduled to reopen Aug. 24, with much of the preparation and safety outfitting yet to be completed.

“The district and schools have a decent budget in the CARES funds for supplies, additional health room staff, additional custodial staff, masks, health room supplies, etc., but they just received their budget and have not yet completed purchases,” Cahan said. “This will raise our numbers significantly.”

The information provided by Putnam County includes not only the costs of PPE, cleaning supplies and safety hardware, but also supplements or frontline workers. Those expenses account for more than half of the total, at $375,881.

A breakdown of PCSD’s COVID-19 expenses can be viewed below.

With 10,990 students in the 2019-2020 academic year, Putnam County plans to spend about $54 per student on COVID-19 safety.

Alachua County Public Schools

The school district in Alachua County has so far spent $627,174 on COVID-19 related supplies and payroll, including PPE.

The vast majority of those costs were categorized as payroll, according to the data provided by the district.

“We have only paid PPE & supplies and payroll at this point,” program specialist Jennifer Hill told News4Jax. “We have over one million dollars in supplies and equipment coming in over the next two weeks. We will definitely have additional expenses hitting our books as I know that we have had large deliveries already this week.”

Hill noted that expenses associated with town hall meetings, software licensing and additional security expenses are some examples of costs not yet included in the COVID-19 expense report.

“These will eventually be reallocated as a COVID related expense but aren’t necessarily represented in the quick report provided,” Hill said.

See the breakdown of COVID-19 related expenses of the ACPS below.

ExpenseAmount
PPE & Supplies$63,006
Payroll$564,169
TOTAL$627,174

In the 2019-2020 academic year, 29,761 students attended Alachua County Public Schools. Based on that enrollment estimation, about $21 per student has so far been spent on virus mitigation in the ACPS district.

Bradford County School District

While Bradford County School District leaders budgeted $50,000 for COVID-19 related expenses, as of July 30, only $45,016 has been spent, according to records provided by the district.

The majority of the expenses covered sanitizing equipment and supplies, but sneeze guards, face shields and WiFi hotspots for busses were also listed as COVID-19 costs.

A breakdown of BCSD’s virus-related costs, including the amounts budgeted, can be viewed in the table below.

In the 2019-2020 academic year, 3,162 students attended institutions in the Bradford County School District. Therefore, the district is spending about $14 per student on COVID-19 related safety.

Baker County School District

Nearly $110,000 has been spent on COVID-19 safety in the Baker County School district.

Some of the district’s notable expenses include those associated with the relocation of a nurse’s office due to COVID-19, for which the district spent $11,254.

More than $15,000 was paid out to staff performing extra duties as they prepared meals amid the pandemic.

A breakdown of BCSD’s COVID-19 expenses can be viewed below.

With 5,060 students, the Baker County School District is primed to spend about $22 per student on COVID-19 related costs.

The district’s three schools are scheduled to reopen Aug. 10 with screening of students and adults, as well as guidelines for school buses and classrooms.

Flagler Schools

At least $218,709 in COVID-19 related expenses has been spent by Flagler Schools, combining both the costs from the 2020 spring semester and those ahead of the coming academic year.

The largest line item in the district is payroll for employees performing duties related to virus mitigation.

Flagler Schools is scheduled to begin classes on Aug. 24.

A full breakdown of the district’s COVID-19 costs can be viewed below.

With 12,946 students in the district based on the 2019-2020 academic year, Flagler Schools is set to spend about $17 per student on COVID-19 related safety costs.

Columbia County School District

The Columbia County School District has so far spent $125,808 on COVID-19 related expenses, with more than half of that amount being spent on electrostatic foggers.

The district also spent nearly $30,000 on wireless router equipment to meet the increased technology needs related to distance learning.

See a full breakdown of CCSD’s virus-related expenses below.

With 10,196 attending Columbia County schools in the 2019-2020 academic year, the district is currently spending about $12 per student on COVID-19 mitigation.

Union County School District

The Union County School District provided a detailed list of COVID-19 related expenses, which said that $122,000 had been spent on COVID-19 mitigation so far.

Costs to Union County’s district included technology-related items, student station dividers, thermometers, carpet/floor cleaning, cleansers/disinfecting products, sterilizing/disinfecting equipment, hand sanitizer and sanitizing stations, personal protective equipment.

A district spokesperson said that the line item for cleaning supplies does not represent only COVID-19 related need.

“Please note, this is not specific products for COVID-19 cleaning only,” a district spokesperson said. “The purchase order represents approximately what is spent on cleaning under normal conditions. We expect higher costs due to increased cleaning of all areas. The overall additional cost is unknown.”

A breakdown of the UCSD’s virus costs can be viewed below.

With 2,410 students attending Union County schools in the 2019-2020 academic year, the district is estimated to spend at least $51 per student on COVID-19 related expenses.

Charlton County Schools

Technology resources were the most expensive portion of Charlton County’s school district spending on COVID-19 related costs, making up $245,847, more than three-fourths of the $319,813 total.

Meal delivery was another top expense, costing the district about $58,835.

The spring 2020 semester saw 1,675 students in Charlton Schools four buildings. Based on that enrollment, the district is poised to spend $191 per student on COVID-19 related expenses.

Camden County Schools

In Southeast Georgia, approximately $29,000 has been spent since July 1 by the school district of Camden County, according to the director of facilities Jeffrey Bunch.

In addition to the purchase of cleaning supplies and employee face shields, Bunch said there was a donation to the district.

“Our Board of Education Member, Mr. Jonathon Blount through his company, Lil’ Seabag has manufactured and donated over 1,000 reusable cloth masks for every employee,” Bunch said.

A breakdown of the expense information from Camden County School can be viewed below.

ExpenseCost
Hand sanitizer, disinfectant, rags & spray bottlesApprox. $25,500
Face shields for every employeeApprox. $3,500
TOTALApprox. $29,000

With 9,273 students, Camden County is spending approximately $3 per student on COVID-19 related expenses, based on enrollment data from the 2019-2020 academic year.

The latest COVID-19 information from the Camden County district can be reviewed on its website.

Brantley County School System

The Brantley County School System will have $66,100 of COVID-19 resources when it begins its academic year Thursday.

“The majority of our PPE has been provided by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and CARES Act funding will be used to off-set the majority of the costs,” a spokesperson for the school district told News4Jax via email.

A full breakdown of the BCSS expenses related to COVID-19 can be viewed below.

In the 2020 spring semester, the Brantley County School System educated 3,415. The amount of money specifically related to COVID-19 safety in the district will equal approximately $19 per student.

Ware County School District

Representatives of the Ware County School District would not immediately provide a breakdown of COVID-19 related costs, citing preparations for the school year.

“We are working on your request but admittedly it hasn’t been the priority as we are in full-on preparation for students to return,” said Paige Coker, Director of Special Projects. “Each department has been tasked with preparing a list and will submit it to our Finance Dept by August 7th for collation.”

News4Jax will update this article when more information is provided.

Glynn County Schools

After multiple requests for financial information from the school district in Glynn County, no response has yet been received by News4Jax.