The U.S. Department of Education has made a variety of funds available to schools in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on schools.
Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, approximately $30.75 billion is available to states, schools, and institutes of higher education through the Act’s Education Stabilization Fund.
The CARES Act offers four grants and funds for education-related purposes:
Within the Education Stabilization Fund Discretionary Grant, The Education Stabilization Fund-Rethink K12 Education Models Grants “provide support to State educational agencies (SEAs) in States with the highest coronavirus burden to address specific educational needs of students, their parents, and teachers in public and non-public elementary and secondary schools in accordance with section 18001(a)(3) of the CARES Act.”
TheElementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund) has set aside $13.2 billion, which will be awarded to, “State educational agencies (SEAs) for the purpose of providing local educational agencies (LEAs), including charter schools that are LEAs, with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the Nation.”
The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF) provides $3 billion for grants to states “based on a formula stipulated in the legislation. (1) 60% on the basis of the State’s relative population of individuals aged 5 through 24. (2) 40% on the basis of the State’s relative number of children counted under section 1124(c) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA).
Request a waiver of the 15% carryover limitation for Title I, Part A.
Obtain an extension of the period of availability of prior fiscal year funds.
Receive a waiver of the needs assessment, content-specific spending requirements, and spending restrictions on technology infrastructure under Title IV, Part A.
Request a waiver of the definition of “professional development,” which might otherwise limit the ability to quickly train school leaders and teachers on topics like effective distance learning techniques.
According to the ED press release, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said, “Across the country, students, teachers and families are proving that learning can and does happen anywhere.
“By extending additional funding flexibility to schools, we are helping to ensure student learning continues and supporting teachers as they transition to virtual classrooms. Local leaders have asked for the ability to steer more resources to local needs, and these new tools will help them do just that.”