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Florida finally submits plan for remaining $2.3 billion in federal school funding

The nearly 350-page plan appears on the U.S. DOE's website as under review.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Editor's note: The video above is from a previous story.

The Florida Department of Education has finally submitted plans to receive more than $2.3 billion in federal school funding. 

FLDOE's letter to the U.S. Department of Education, sent on Oct. 6, outlines the state's plan for the remaining Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds provided by the federal government. 

According to the DOE's website, the state's plan is currently under review.

On Oct. 4, the USDOE sent a letter to FLDOE Commissioner Richard Corcoran saying the Sunshine State was the only state to not submit a plan for using the rest of its more than $7 billion funding allotment in schools. 

The letter detailed the U.S. DOE needs a plan from the FLDOE on how the state intends to spend the $2.3 billion dollars.

A spokesperson for the U.S. DOE said the final $2.3 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER funds was awarded, but before the money is sent to FDOE, the U.S. DOE needs a plan for "student support and transparency."

The plan was due in June. Florida missed out on that deadline, and the state has missed two additional deadline extensions, according to the DOE.

States received two-thirds of ESSER funding up front under the American Rescue Plan passed in March. The remaining third was to be awarded only after states received approval from the U.S. Department of Education.

In Florida’s case, $4.6 billion in ESSER funding has been awarded. Now that the state has submitted a plan, more than $2.3 billion in additional funding should eventually be given to the state.

Although Florida is reportedly the last state to submit a plan to the DOE, it is not the only state whose plan is still under review. A total of 10 states and Puerto Rico are still listed as "under review," according to the DOE's website.

To date, Florida has received nearly $13.4 billion from the U.S. Department of Education's Education Stabilization Fund (ESF), of which the ESSER funds are a part. As of Oct. 12, slightly less than $3.2 billion has been spent.

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