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Reynolds gives $95 million in pandemic funds back to feds

DES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds has declined $95 million in pandemic aid for schools to the federal government.

Reynolds said during a town hall broadcast tonight on Fox News that the $95 million was for surveillance testing of students in Iowa schools. Reynolds said President Biden “thinks the Covid just started” and the state doesn’t need that money to get kids back in the classroom since most Iowa students have “been in the classroom since August.”

After the program, the governor’s spokesman provided Radio Iowa with an April 23, 2021 letter the Iowa Department of Public Health sent the Centers for Disease Control. It said Iowa has “ample funding and (Covid) testing capacity for Iowa school districts” and was declining the $95 million in federal funds. The letter asked for state officials to be notified if the money could be used in a different way, particularly if the state could use the $95 million “for vaccine distribution.”

Reynolds participated in a forum with four other Republican governors that was hosted by Fox host Laura Ingraham. Reynolds’ first comments were about reopening schools last fall and the state law she signed January 29 that forced “a few holdouts” offering online instruction to offer 100% in-person classes five days a week.

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