Tuesday, State Auditor Shad White’s office released the first report on where the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act ,“CARES Act,” dollars have landed in Mississippi.
The Legislature took on the task of appropriating the $1.25 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund that the state received from the federal government, spreading it throughout state agencies.
The top allocations went to the Department of Finance and Administration with $3 million, Mississippi Development Authority with just over $280 million, Mississippi Department of Employment Security at over $236 million, Mississippi Department of Education with over $200 million, and MEMA at $110 million.
So far, the highest expenditures of these dollars have come from the DFA through HB 1800 and SB 3046, and MSDH through HB 1782. Each department has spent over $70 million of their appropriated CARES Act funds at this time.
The Education Stabilization Fund, which established the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSR), provided MDE, IHL and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERS) with sub grants. These dollars were largely intended to assist in new distance learning obstacles as well as sanitizing classrooms and school buildings in accordance with new Department of Health requirements.
The top allocations from the ESSR went to the Jackson Public School District with $12.3 million, Harrison County at $4.4 million, DeSoto County with just under $4 million, Greenwood-Leflore district at $3.5 million and Greenville Public schools with $3.3 million.
No reports of expenditures by any districts in Mississippi have been reported. The last update was made on September 2, 2020.