COVID-19 education stimulus funding updates for 2021
Dr. Judy Riffle breaks down the billions in education funding provided via the recently enacted federal FY 2021 appropriations bill
"With unity, we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus." – President Joe Biden
Congress passed a $2.3 trillion legislative package (H.R. 133), the second-largest economic rescue package in U.S. history. The education portion of H.R. 133 includes $82 billion for education relief funding (Coronavirus Supplemental) and $73.5 billion for education (Omnibus).
1. Coronavirus Supplemental: $82 billion in education relief funding
$22.7 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)
$20.2 billion for nonprofit colleges
$1.7 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and tribal colleges
$113 million for Institutions of Higher Education (IHE)
$908 million for financial aid for students at for-profit colleges
Grants are for reimbursement of expenses and technology costs due to the shift to online learning, lost revenue, and financial aid for students. The bill directs schools to prioritize grants for students with exceptional need. Colleges and universities cannot use the funds for recruitment activities, athletics facilities, religious instruction, or senior administrator salaries or bonuses.
$4.1 billion for the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF)
$54.3 billion for public K-12, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund
Funds are distributed based on states' allocations under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and allocated to school districts based on their Title I, Part A allocation.
2. Omnibus Highlights: $73.5 billion for the Department of Education, $785 million above FY 2020
$2.5 billion for higher education programs, an increase of $66 million above the FY 2020 enacted level
$789 million, an increase of $30 million above the FY 2020 enacted level, to assist primarily Minority Serving Institution (MSIs), including:
$338 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an increase of $13 million above the FY 2020 enacted level
$149 million for Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), an increase of $6 million above the FY 2020 enacted level
$6,495 for the maximum Pell Grant award, $150 above FY 2020
$880 million for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program
$1.2 billion for the Federal Work Study (FWS) program
$55 million for Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program
$675 million for Adult Education State Grants
$1.3 billion for Career Technical Education State Grants
$5 million for Basic Needs Grants pilot program
$1.1 billion for Federal TRIO programs
$368 million for GEAR UP
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
About the author
Judy Riffle, Ed.D, is a former teacher, university mentor, and K-12 central office administrator with degrees in special education, Deaf education and educational leadership. She was a school district Director of Federal and State Programs in Arizona, including additional hats as a grant writer/manager, English Language Learner Director, Homeless Student Liaison, technology committee facilitator, fundraiser and teacher professional development coordinator. Dr. Riffle began writing state, federal, corporate and foundation grants in 2008 for a school district, and branched out to independent grant consulting in 2011. Since 2012, she has served on six federal grant review panels. Encompassing over 20 years of experience in the field of education, she also serves on the Grant Professionals Association Grant News Publications Subcommittee, Grant Professionals Foundation Marketing Committee, the GPF Silent Auction Committee, and several nonprofit Governing Boards.