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Cumberland school board to consider use of federal funds for ‘community engagement’ bus

Money would come from federal COVID-19 relief funding


The Cumberland County Board of Education, at its regular meeting on Tuesday, will consider using more than $100,000 in federal funding for a “community engagement” bus.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium of the educational resource center at 396 Elementary Drive.

During a presentation before a board committee earlier this month, Lindsay Whitley, associate superintendent of communication and community engagement, said the bus would be used to share academic-related information with families at the neighborhood level.

The bus would cost $109,000, which would not  be taken from local tax dollars but from the elementary and secondary school emergency relief fund. That is part of COVID-19 relief funding allocated by Congress to local school districts during the earlier parts of the pandemic.

Whitley said the bus will have “the potential to be a game-changer” as the district would use it to engage with students and parents in their neighborhoods.

“We often talk about increasing family and community engagement, and we're committed to trying to think about out-of-the-box things that we can truly do to reach every single family,” Whitley said.

Whitley said the bus would be customized with Wi-Fi and iPads and other electronic devices. He said the equipment would be used to provide information and access to resources that help the children with academic success.

County residents can speak during the public-comment period during Tuesday’s meeting by signing up online starting at noon Tuesday. Signup will remain open until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Residents can  register for public comment only online as Cumberland County Schools does not accept walk-up sign-ups. Public comments can also be made only in person.

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Ben Sessoms covers Fayetteville and education for CityView. He can be reached at bsessoms@cityviewnc.com.


Cumberland County, schools, COVID-19 relief funding