Earlier this year the U.S. Department of Education released $254,679,491 to South Dakota as part of South Dakota's American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) plan. Today July 7, an additional $127,339,745 was announced. The funds were part of the Departments $81 billion distribution to 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“South Dakota is pleased to be among the first states to have their plans approved. South Dakota schools also were among the first in the nation to reopen their doors at the start of the 2020-21 school year,” said Secretary of Education Tiffany Sanderson.

And just how will South Dakota be using this money? According to a release, the funds will be targeted to support safe in-person instruction and meet the social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs of students with a focus on the students most impacted by the pandemic.

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Another area of focus will be to support hiring school nurses, counselors, and paraprofessionals. In the 2020-21 school year, the Department of Education supported district-led initiatives to add school nurses, counselors and special education paraprofessionals using federal ESSER funding.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.