In the wake of unprecedented fiscal challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of University Park and the town of Highland Park agreed to provide Highland Park Independent School District (HPISD) with a combined $185,000 in funds to offset some expenses incurred while responding to the ongoing public health emergency.
This aid is a portion of the funds the city and town will receive from the U.S. Treasury through the CARES Act that is providing financial assistance to municipalities to address COVID-19 expenses. Under its provisions, across the country, the amount each municipality is provided is different, and is based on a specific formula of dollars per resident. The $185,000 represents about 10% of the overall funds that will be provided to our respective communities.
Before making this allocation, Dallas County, which oversees the use of local CARES Act funds, recommended that the city, town, and HPISD approve an interlocal agreement (ILA) to participate in this revenue-sharing. All three entities have done so.
Augmenting to the $50,000 allocated by the state to the HPISD, the district will use the funds to purchase personal protective equipment (disposable masks, disposable gloves, face shields), hand sanitizer, disinfectant, self-cleaning film to clean high touch areas such as door handles, electro-static disinfecting machines, and services to facilitate distance learning. Like on the municipal level, any funds used by HPISD as a result of the ILA will adhere to CARES Act regulations.
“In making this joint decision, the city and town are once again demonstrating our decades-long belief that a community can only shine when its school district does,” University Park Mayor Tommy Stewart said. “This virus has placed downward pressure on all revenue sources, and using a portion of this emergency allotment to aid HPISD makes sense for all concerned.”
“Collectively, we’ve faced this pandemic with steadfast dedication to health and safety,” town of Highland Park Mayor Margo Goodwin said. “The Interlocal Agreement serves as another great example of the town, city and district coming together for a common cause.”
“The spirit of cooperation within the Park Cities is alive and well,” HPISD board president Jim Hitzelberger said. “Thank you to both the city of UP and town of HP for providing these funds for our students. We are all committed to keeping our students, parents, teachers and the community healthy and safe, and these funds will be put to good use.”