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Ohio Colleges, Schools Will Receive Additional CARES Act Funding

The Ohio Controlling Board on Monday approved requests to appropriate additional CARES Act funding for schools and universities.

The state Office of Budget and Management received approval for additional funds of roughly $200 million for higher education and $100 million for K-12 schools. The funds would be meant to cover increased education costs brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Any funding Cuyahoga Community College receives would aid in expanding contact tracing, testing, signage and social distancing protocols ahead of the fall semester, said the school’s Executive Vice President of Finance David Kuntz.

“A lot of our programs that we offer have that face-to-face or skills component to it,” Kuntz said. “We’re now in the process of evaluating and updating all of our labs and all those technical environments.”

Tri-C has made changes to keep staff and students safe during the summer, Kuntz said. Students use ID cards to access buildings and areas on campus, he said, which can be checked and used alongside class attendance records to aid in contact tracing in the event of positive COVID-19 tests on campus.

“Certainly, with our summer enrollment, that’s a smaller population so it’s much easier done,” Kuntz said. “As we head into fall, it’s really about scaling up those enhancements from a tracing component to make sure all of our faculty, our staff and our students are protected in every way possible.”

The college also conducts temperature checks and screenings to determine potential exposure to the coronavirus, Kuntz said.

“Any allocation that we would receive would certainly help pay for some of those needed improvements,” Kuntz said, “knowing that in fall, at this point, we’re trying to scale back to the extent we can.”

Some buildings and classrooms will require plastic barrier installations, Kuntz said, as well as other modifications to ensure students and staff are protected during in-person classes.

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