AP: Flush with COVID-19 aid, schools steer funding to sports

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A growing number of school districts in the U.S. are using federal pandemic funding on athletics projects.

One school district in Iowa is spending $100,000 on a weight room renovation, while another in Wisconsin is spending $1.6 million on new synthetic turf fields. School officials argue the projects support students’ physical and mental health, but critics tell The Associated Press the spending clashes with the intent of the pandemic relief.

Education experts say the funding should go toward tutoring and other costs to help students recover learning loss. Some critics blame state and federal officials for failing to make sure the money is used appropriately.