Michigan Department of Education COVID-19 funds: Projects denied

The Michigan Department of Education will allow Michigan school districts to spend federal COVID-19 relief funding on a school nutrition room, a food truck and playground equipment, but not on security equipment or the demolition of an aging school’s pool. 

Included in the spending proposed to the Michigan Department of Education: school playground equipment, updates to athletic equipment and amenities, and security updates, including metal detectors and cameras. 

The Detroit Free Press, in collaboration with Chalkbeat Detroit and Bridge Michigan, revealed on Monday that schools had proposed spending federal COVID-19 relief funding in ways not explicitly tied to the pandemic. 

Spokesperson Martin Ackley wrote in an email that the department has denied some spending proposals; among them: 

  • A $500,000 proposal to demolish an aging swimming pool in disrepair at Eastpointe High School. 
  • A $134,000 request from Kalamazoo Public Schools to buy metal detectors and X-ray machines for security for special events.