The next round of Cleveland’s federal stimulus proposals focuses on education and helping residents find jobs.
Mayor Justin Bibb will introduce legislation to Cleveland City Council at its Monday night meeting outlining what his office says is about $40 million in spending from the city’s $512 million allocation of American Rescue Plan Act dollars.
“These ARPA funds are once-in-a-lifetime investments in Cleveland’s future,” Bibb said in a news release announcing the proposals. “That’s why we’re focusing on the building blocks of a stronger tomorrow: our kids, our workers, and our civic fabric. It’s this kind of catalytic investment in the things that matter most that will ensure Cleveland thrives for generations to come.”
Council and the Bibb administration have spent months hashing out ideas for spending the city’s stimulus funds. The mayor convened an ARPA working group, dubbed the Center for Economic Recovery, that includes cabinet members and council staff.
At a caucus meeting Monday, Council President Blaine Griffin said council would give Bibb’s proposals a thorough vetting in committees. He said that Ward 14 Council Member Jasmin Santana – who chairs the Workforce, Education, Training & Youth Development Committee – would oversee the process.
Griffin circulated a draft of spending ideas that included aid for expectant mothers, down payment assistance, workforce programs and violence intervention. More ARPA spending proposals are expected after council approves the city budget in February.
Ordinances authorizing the spending were uploaded over the weekend to council’s online legislation system. Below are the ARPA items to be introduced to council Monday night:
- $10 million to Ohio Means Jobs Cleveland-Cuyahoga County for a citywide workforce development program “specifically with respect to training historically underrepresented and marginalized workers.”
- $5.5 million to be spent through a “participatory budgeting” process directed by Cleveland residents. Included in the amount is $510,000 to administer the program.
- $5.4 million to create “education innovation groups,” to fund grants to educators working to improve schools and to hire a “learning innovation strategist.”
- $4 million in upgrades to the city’s 311 complaint system so that residents can track their complaints.
- $3.7 million, administered by the Cleveland Foundation, to provide physical and mental health services to kids.
- $3.5 million in matching funds to seek grant dollars to remediate brownfields around the Opportunity Corridor and prepare them for development.
- $3 million for the literacy software Amira and Ignite! Reading, a Zoom-based tutoring service.
- $2.1 million to the Greater Cleveland Career Consortium for a career-planning program across Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools. The legislation also calls for a plan to expand the program to non-CMSD schools.
- Almost $1 million for a violence prevention effort
- $984,500 to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District Transformation Alliance to create a family advisory network for the schools
- $730,625 for a contract with Possip, Inc. to set up an online feedback platform for families and school administrators
- $400,000 to Seeds of Literacy and Ohio Means Jobs for a campaign to increase GED completion
- $300,000 to College Now to encourage residents to re-enroll in higher education and to take advantage of student debt forgiveness programs
This story was updated to include comments from Bibb and Griffin.