PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) - The current health pandemic has created a lot of chaos on school campuses across the state, and the recent increase in Covid-19 cases isn't helping.

"It's been intermittent up until now, but now pretty much every day we're getting calls about positive here - positive there," said Tina Mahoney, with the School Nurse Organization of Arizona. "It's an interesting mixture of both students and staff."

The challenges from Covid-19 are raising concerns about the quality of education Arizona students are receiving.

It's is one of the reasons Governor Doug Ducey and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced this week, that a $19 million dollar grant has been approved to help Arizona students impacted by the current health pandemic.

"We know more resources are needed to help our education communities respond to the pandemic." Hoffman said.

The funding comes from the Governor's Emergency Education relief fund as part of the Cares Act.

A big chunk of the money will go towards:

  • Teacher Development
  • Teacher Stipends/Tutoring Sessions
  • Reading/Math Curriculum and
  • Summer Education

Dr. LeeAnn Aguilar-Lawlor is superintendent of the Cartwright School District in Phoenix.

"It's huge, any time we can get additional funding to support our students and their education," said Aguilar-Lawlor. "It is a big deal, especially with this pandemic, because there are certain expenditures that we never would have considered."

More than 180 schools are eligible for the program, with dollars distributed based on need.

Schools are expected to find out if they qualify some time next week.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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