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Waco ISD investing over $33 million in its schools thanks to federal funding from American Rescue Plan

The district plans to use the money to address learning loss caused by the pandemic and to modernize aging libraries.

WACO, Texas — Waco ISD will be investing $33.3 million over the next three years with funding from the American Rescue Plan.

It's part of a larger package worth nearly $50 million, but the district is waiting for the state to release the remaining $16 million.

The $33.3 million will be divided into nine categories. The largest portion, $7.8 million, will go toward academic interventions.

"We know we've had a learning loss through the pandemic. So we will be adding additional interventionists at our campuses. We will include money for tutorials and attendance activities," Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincanon said.

The second-largest portion, $3.7 million, will go toward social-emotional learning and mental health.

"Social-emotional learning is teaching kids how to manage their emotions, how to regulate their behaviors, how to show empathy towards others and those are really good skills that students need." Kincannon said.

Kincannon says there may be students who have developed behavioral issues due to the pandemic, so the district wants to make sure they are supported.  

Credit: WACO ISD

Teachers will be offered mental health, trauma and resiliency training.

"We know that we can't learn when the brain is not ready to learn due to trauma," Kincannon said.

The district plans to fill around 30 positions in all to help achieve those goals.

Literacy is also top of mind for the district, so $3.5 million will go toward new books and modernizing aging libraries.

"This is a huge investment in our kids and Waco ISD is being very thoughtful about the use of these funds. We want to use this money to do really good work for our students," Kincannon said.