The good news is that yesterday, in a bi-partisan move, senators passed the largest stimulus package in American history to the tune of $2.2 trillion, offering much-needed financial aid to health care systems, workers, and businesses—and that includes our nation’s shuttered schools.
That piece of the pie comes in at $13.5 billion, and, with thanks to Education Week’s Andrew Ujifusa, here is some of what’s been included in the bill’s Education Stabilization Fund, which also provides $14.25 billion for higher education, and another $3 billion for governors’ discretionary use, as they help our K-12 schools and institutions of higher education deal with COVID-19’s effects…
- Any state or school receiving stabilization fund dollars “shall, to the greatest extent practicable, continue to pay its employees and contractors during the period of any disruptions or closures related to coronavirus.”
- Plus, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that passed 96-0 provides for:
- $15.5 billion for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program;
- $8.8 billion for Child Nutrition Programs to help ensure students receive meals when school is not in session;
- $3.5 billion for Child Care and Development Block Grants, which provide childcare subsidies to low-income families and can be used to augment state and local systems;
- $750 million for Head Start early-education programs;
- $100 million in Project SERV grants to help clean and disinfect schools and provide support for mental health services and distance learning;
- $69 million for schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Education; and
- $5 million for health departments to provide guidance on cleaning and disinfecting schools and day-care facilities.
And while this is only one piece of the total 880-page, $2.2 trillion financial rescue package, the bottom line is that help is on its way, except that…
Jason Furman, a top Obama economist and former White House Council of Economic Advisers chair says, “I think this is the biggest, fastest thing I’ve ever seen Congress do, and I’m still not sure if it’s enough.”
With prayers, Carol