ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Tuesday that he will allocate $125 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to expand school-based health centers.

It is the latest move by Kemp to use federal funds as he runs for re-election against Democrat Stacey Abrams. This is also another example of how Kemp can use the power of his office to bolster his fight against Abrams.

“This innovative program will continue to reduce costs and increase access to quality health insurance for all, especially those in rural Georgia, without putting an unfair price tag on taxpayers. This is in line with our ongoing commitment,” Kemp said in a statement.

Democrats attack Kemp for handing out money even though Kemp opposed passing several COVID-19 relief bills passed in Congress. He also refused to seek an expansion of state federal Medicaid health insurance to cover all adults.

Abrams spokesperson Alex Floyd said, “Kemp should stop trying to claim credit for the money he fought in the first place.” you will need something of.”

The State Department of Education will provide grants of up to $1 million per person to open health centers that care for students and possibly community members. The idea is to help students achieve by improving their physical and mental health and meeting their dental and vision needs.

Ashley Harris, who oversees school-based health centers for the Georgia Department of Education, said the funding “helps students by removing a major learning barrier: access to healthcare.”

The new announcement will provide federally funded schools with up to $1 million per project because the majority of students come from poor families. Georgia has over 1,500 Title 1 schools.

The State Department said it was working on a time frame to award grants to cover the costs of additions, renovations, supplies and personnel.There are currently about 100 school-based health centers in Georgia, It usually operates as a partnership between a school district and a federally accredited health center.

The $1 million significantly surpasses a $200,000 federal grant made in May by the US Department of Health and Human Services to strengthen school-based health centers. His two federally accredited medical centers in the state, Swainsboro’s East His Georgia Health Care Center and Colbert’s Medrink His Georgia, received these grants.

Kemp spokesperson Katie Byrd said the governor’s office believes the $1 million will cover the startup costs and three years of operations. Health center operators must then maintain it on the basis of other income. A federally funded children’s health insurance program known in Georgia as PeachCare for Kids covers so many children that providers can seek insurance reimbursement for nearly any student. .

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