Schools still have billions of federal Covid relief money to spend

Congress authorized more than $190 billion to help America's schools reopen and stay open during the pandemic -- and while a lot of the funds were used to buy PPE, upgrade ventilation and boost summer school programs, there are still billions of dollars left to be spent.

COBB County, Ga. (CBS46) -- The superintendent of Cobb County Schools addressed the district's handling of COVID-19 amid concerns from the community Thursday.

During the September Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Chris Ragsdale presented data showing substantial drops in COVID-19 cases among Cobb County schools. He also compared the data to other area school districts.

"We need to understand what is happening, why it is happening, and what will happen next. We need to understand our data and what it means. I felt it was time to get an accurate depiction of our data. When we are not presented with a forward-looking process, we will use our own data-driven process," said the Superintendent.

Superintendent Ragsdale said that what he claimed were misleading or exaggerated reports in the media spurred him to discuss the data during Thursday's meeting.

Cobb County School District

Data from the current 2021-2022 school year appeared to show that cases among Cobb County schools had decreased, with the county maintaining lower numbers of cases per student even during the recent peak in August.

Cobb County School District

Cobb County implemented a mask mandate in its schools in 2020. While the district expected lower COVID-19 case numbers than those districts remaining unmasked, the data appeared to show similar case numbers.

Cobb County School District

"I appreciate that the superintendent compiled some of the COVID-19 data which separates fact from narrative. I'm glad to see the case numbers going down. Our goal since the beginning of this pandemic has been to keep our students and staff safe, and the data says we are doing that as well as we can," said Board Chair Randy Scamihorn. 

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