“Last Thursday (1/14), President-elect Joe Biden unveiled details of a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package he has dubbed the “American Rescue Plan.” The proposal, which must still be considered and approved by Congress, would provide a host of new resources for pandemic-related activities such as vaccinations, treatments for patients, and direct aid to struggling families. Of note, the plan proposes $170 billion in additional emergency relief specifically for education. (more…)
Details released on Wisconsin’s allocation of K-12 funding under latest federal COVID-19 relief package
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), was signed into law on December 27, 2020 and provides an additional $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II Fund).
According to figures released by the U.S. Department of Education, Wisconsin’s allocation of ESSER II funds is estimated to be slightly more than $686 million, of which roughly $617.5 million (see table) would be allocated to local school districts.
As a general rule of thumb, school districts should expect their allocations under the ESSER II fund to be about four (4) times greater than their allocations under the original ESSER fund. (more…)
Congressional leaders have reportedly struck a deal on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package along with the 2020-21 budget and appropriations totaling $1.4 trillion and may be poised to pass the package today.
According to the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the legislation will include the following:
- $54.3 billion dedicated to K-12 public schools
- $4.05 billion for the Governor Emergency Relief Fund which includes a set-aside for private K-12 schools
- $250 million for Head Start
- $10 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program
- $3.2 billion in emergency funds for low-income families to access broadband through “an FCC fund” (i.e., a new program and not through the E-Rate program)
- $1 billion tribal broadband fund
- $65 million to complete broadband maps pursuant to the Broadband DATA Act approved earlier this year
- New $300 million grant program to fund broadband in rural areas
With Congress facing a time crunch to approve both a federal budget deal and more federal COVID relief aid, a bipartisan group of lawmakers today (12/14) unveiled a two-part $908 billion COVID-19 relief package.
The first part would provide $748 billion to fund another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) assistance for small businesses; an extension of unemployment benefits; and more money for schools, COVID testing, vaccine distribution and other widely agreed-upon items.
The proposal is said to include $82 billion for education, an amount which includes $54 billion both K-12 education and $20 billion for colleges and universities. In addition, $7.5 billion is included for a Governor’s Fund. Provisions earmarking some of this funding for private and parochial schools are also included in the bipartisan package, although details were not available at the time this post was written.
Assuming all recounts and lawsuits confirm his win, what might a Biden administration mean for K-12 education policy at the federal level?
As a candidate, President-elect Biden called for big increases for federal education programs like Title I and special education (IDEA), in contrast to the cuts proposed by his predecessor. Ultimately, President Trump’s cuts were rejected by Congress. The Biden proposals also likely face Congressional resistance, especially if the GOP holds the U.S. Senate.
There would also be a new Secretary of Education. A Biden-designee-led U.S. Department of Education (USED) would also almost certainly look to reverse initiatives and guidance advanced by current USED Sec. Betsy DeVos, while also reinstating Obama-era policies (e.g., Title IX, racial disparities in school discipline). President-elect Biden’s appointee would also oppose expansion of vouchers and other privatization efforts backed by DeVos. (more…)
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill Thursday, Oct 1 after negotiations between Speaker Pelosi and the White House stalled again after briefly picking up Wednesday. From CBS News:
“The House passed a $2.2 trillionrelief bill on Thursday, as the prospects for a deal between Democrats and the White House seem to be fading. But the bill is unlikely to move through the Republican-led Senate, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he would not support any legislation that has a price tag of more than $2 trillion.
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that Democrats and the Trump administration were still far apart on issues including funding for state and local governments…” (more…)