Federal funding has helped education transform in ways that seemed unfathomable in the past
COVID-19 has taken so much from us over the past two years, especially from students in K-12 schools. However, the federal government has provided unexpected COVID funding of billions of dollars for schools. Fortunately, this funding has helped education transform in ways that seemed unfathomable in the past, such as providing free meals and computers to all students.
The latest relief proposal by the current administration will provide universal Pre-Kindergarten to all three and four-year-olds, which will be the largest expansion of education programs since the addition of high school over 100 years ago.
COVID relief funding began in March 2020 with the CARES Act, which delivered $30.7 billion for schools. In December 2020, the COVID Relief Package was signed into law and provided $82 billion in grants to education. These funds helped children safely return to in-person school in the spring of 2021 in many states and continue remote learning in other states.
The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021, providing $122 billion to address the many impacts of COVID-19 on PK-12 education, including:
The Build Back Better Plan has been passed by the House, and is waiting for a vote by the Senate before it can be signed into law. As of now, the Build Back Better Plan proposes to provide the following funds to PK-12 education in 2022:
We are in the middle of our third school year living with COVID, and schools have been forced to change to keep students and staff safe. Here is a simple breakdown of education funding of the four COVID relief laws:
Non-profit foundations have also provided a safety net for schools during the COVID-19 crisis. Private funders have assisted schools in more specialized ways than the federal government is able to, and will hopefully continue to do so in years to come. Together, we can ensure the success of our students by providing funding to schools in every way possible as the world continues to change due to the pandemic.
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