Congress has introduced bills in both chambers that would provide $3 billion in mandatory grant programs and flexibility for early childhood education and K-12 schools in the United States. The funds are meant to help maintain operations and re-open sooner by providing financial support.
From Education Dive:
The legislation includes:
- $1.2 billion for states to support school districts as they plan for closures. The funding could be used to support school meal distribution, ramped up cleaning and disinfecting efforts, educator training, and other preparedness and response efforts.
- An additional $3 million would be allocated to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) to provide resources for educational programs, teachers, principals, administrators and other school leaders to help address the challenges related to stress associated with COVID-19.
- It would also provide $600 million for early education programs to meet emergency staffing needs, cover costs to clean and sanitize facilities, and provide training and supports to staff.
“School closures are jeopardizing access to basic essentials for millions of young people and students across the country, often leaving families without many options,” Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Virginia), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, said in a press release. This act, he said, would work to mitigate challenges districts and students are facing.
An earlier package allowed for greater flexibility in providing school meals during closure due to COVID-19. The package passed the House with bipartisan support and is now heading to the Senate.