Extracurricular equity fund announced

CHARLESTON,WV (WOAY)- On Friday, Gov. Justice announced that he and the West Virginia Department of Education are dedicating a combined total of $4 million to establish a new Extracurricular Equity Fund, which will help support extracurricular programs such as sports, band and choir, and countless other student organizations in every public high school across the state.

The amount distributed to each high school will be based on enrollment. The funding will go toward helping make up for the loss in revenue these schools have encountered with the loss of fans attending games.

“I’m a coach myself, and I can really identify with this,” Gov. Justice said. “Our schools have been impacted phenomenally bad from what’s happened with COVID and they’re all in danger of just a terrible situation, from the standpoint that you can’t have enough selling of donuts, or pizzas, or whatever it may be to raise enough money; from attendance, to concessions, to everything throughout the year that we haven’t been able to do.”

The $2 million provided by the Governor’s Office will come out of West Virginia’s portion of Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds, provided by the U.S. Department of Education to support educational needs in each state related to COVID-19. The GEER funds, approved by Congress through the CARES Act, are a separate allocation from the $1.25 billion in discretionary funds appropriated to the state.

“This really ought to go a long way toward helping our schools and our athletic departments,” Gov. Justice said. “And I’m really happy to be able to do that.”