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Legislative Update

White House, Senate GOP agree to school funding levels in next COVID-19 aid package

by | Jul 23, 2020 | Federal Issue, Legislative Update Blog | 0 comments

While the Trump administration and GOP Senators have agreement, the final package will need approval from the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. From the NSBA National Connection:

The Washington Times (7/22, Boyer) reports the White House and Senate Republicans reached agreement Wednesday night “on a key part of a coronavirus stimulus proposal that includes $105 billion for schools and billions more for testing.” Senate Appropriations Chairman Shelby announced a “fundamental agreement” on funding levels. Senate Majority Leader McConnell “will unveil the plan in pieces on Thursday.” The overall proposal “is expected to cost about $1 trillion. Mr. McConnell also is pushing for liability protections for businesses as they reopen during the pandemic.”

The Hill (7/22, Carney) reports the proposal will “divide the money up by providing $70 billion for K-12 schools, $30 billion for colleges and $5 billion for governors to give to either, largely lining up with what Senate GOP negotiators pitched earlier this week.” Notably, the bill will condition “half of the K-12 money to schools that re-open for in-person classes, while all schools will have access to the other half and the $30 billion for colleges will not be tied to in-person classes, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), one of the negotiators, told reporters.” Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said the focus of negotiations was about trying to “make it possible for our school and colleges to open safely with as much physical presence for students as possible.” Forbes (7/22, Hansen) reports Democratic leaders “are adamant that they will oppose any legislation that makes school funding contingent on whether or not they fully reopen with in-person instruction.”

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