An Educators Guide to what the CARES Act Means for Districts
The mass spread of COVID-19 took many of us by surprise. It has changed our norms and affected the economy, and each of us in some way. One being that schools had to quickly shift to an online learning environment, many of them without the tools and resources needed for teaching and learning remotely.
At the end of March, the federal government introduced the widely reported Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Funding from this act will serve education stabilization, with $13.5 billion available in formula grants to serve Elementary and Secondary education.
Based on the share of Title I-A funds, state education agencies will distribute 90% to school districts and public charter schools. While districts will need to hear from their states about what’s available to them, these funds will support activities such as extended schools closures, purchasing edtech solutions for online teaching and learning, providing principals with the resources to address their individual school needs, sanitizing supplies, summer-school/summer learning, and much more.
Additionally, Governors in every state will receive a share of the $3 billion Governor’s Education Relief Fund to allocate at their discretion as emergency support grants. These funds will further assist local education agencies that have been critically impacted by the pandemic.
As announced by the U.S. Secretary of Education, schools are also allowed to repurpose their existing K-12 funds for education technology and professional development training for educators.
This funding is fast moving to districts to support online learning and crisis recovery, and depending on the state, funds may be able to be used for purchases already made relating to COVID-19.
For clarification on your specific state’s funding, visit your education department’s website.