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ISBE Says No to Using COVID-19 Cash for New Football Field at Anna-Jonesboro

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education has rejected Anna-Jonesboro Community High School’s request to use its COVID relief dollars towards astroturf for its football field.

The disapproval of the grant application comes after heated community debate over what is and is not an appropriate use of COVID-19 relief funds.

The high school’s school board voted at its July meeting on a $1.9 million spending plan that dedicated nearly half of the school’s ESSER III relief funds on astroturf for the football field.

According to guidance by the Illinois State Board of Education, allowable grant uses include providing mental health services and support, addressing the needs of low-income students and students with disabilities, helping to provide access to technology and addressing challenges associated with the coronavirus.