Cost of COVID: 5 metro school districts spending more than $3.4 million combined

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Picture of child doing distance learning

BARTLETT, ILLINOIS – MAY 01: Seven-year-old Hamza Haqqani, a 2nd grade student, uses a computer to participate in an E-learning class with his teacher and classmates while at his home on May 01, 2020 in Bartlett, Illinois(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — More than $3.4 million in school funding is going toward coronavirus materials between five major school districts around Kansas City alone. There are 44 school districts in the metro.

FOX4 received spending breakdowns from Kansas City Public Schools, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Park Hill School District and Lawrence Public Schools. Spending information includes equipment for both in-person and distance learning.

Increased technology for distance learning has incurred some of the largest costs. Close behind are expenses for disinfectant materials, including bus-cleaning machines, and additional pay to alter curriculum.

Here are the breakdowns:

Kansas City Public Schools – Total: $1,584,290

$611,000 will be paid with a grant from School Smart KC

  • $486,000 for 3,000 T-Mobile internet hotspots
  • $386,950 for 1,000 iPads
  • $375,000 for 2,000 student hotspot-only phones and 5,000 Wi-Fi spots
  • $336,340 for temperature body scan equipment

Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools – Total: $951,941.26

This includes funds that have been both pre-allocated and already spent

  • $827,255.28 on general supplies and materials
  • $72,322.68 on services (not defined)
  • $30,597.57 on postage
  • $10,517.16 on equipment
  • $6,354.50 on furniture and fixtures
  • $3,281.00 on equipment and vehicle rentals
  • $875.00 on security
  • $738.07 on other printing

Lawrence Public Schools – Total: $349,924.08

  • $125,000 on a task force
  • $118,436.34 on technology
  • $95, 644 on staff training
  • $10, 843.74 on PPE
  • ($62,208 not included in the total for 4-years of licenses with video conferencing company Webex, which will be billed in the future)

Lee’s Summit R-7 School District – Total: $291,409.35

  • $253,274.56 for general expenses for such items as gloves, soap, masks, gowns, face shields, disinfectant wipes
  • $10,699.52 for transportation department that includes disinfectant wipes, gloves, masks, thermometers, plexiglass, and 2 battery powered mister misters to sanitize buses
  • $21,710.06 for custodial supplies, included $11,985.00 for Clorox products
  • $5,725.21 for masks

Park Hill School District – Total: $233,000

These expenses have been paid since March, but the district expects more to come

  • $185,000 for online learning platforms and services, as well as additional time for teachers to plan online curriculum
  • $48,000 for extra hand sanitizer, thermometers, and masks

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