The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked the need for new legislation in our nation. That is why our government has signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law on March 27th, 2020. The CARES ACT has allocated $30.75 billion to the Department of Education in order to meet the needs of both students and educators during this national emergency. This bill allocates $13.5 billion for K-12 emergency relief fund, as well as an additional $3.5 billion that governors can allocate based on local districts’ needs.
In addition to funding, the CARES Act gives the flexibility to support coronavirus-response activities using existing K-12 funds toward purchasing educational technology to support remote learning for students, as well as professional development distance learning training for educators.
Under the CARES ACT Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Secretary of Education is required to approve and distribute requested funds within a month from receiving an application. DeVos also was granted the ability to waive state assessibility and accountability provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Furthermore, this bill allows local school districts greater flexibility in how they utilize their Title I funds.
As mentioned, the CARES Act gives states the flexibility to use funds as they see fit. Some possible areas include:
- Purchasing devices for students without access to laptops or desktops.
- Purchasing Wi-Fi Internet access for students without Internet access.
- Professional development and training for employees and educators.
- Providing meals to students.
- Providing mental health services to students.
For additional information regarding the CARES ACT and the impact of the bill on the K-12 education system visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website at www.ed.gov. Additionally, for updates regarding the impact of the bill on your state and local schools visit your state and local school district websites. If you are interested in learning about online staff training for Parent Engagement and teaching resources during the coronavirus pandemic, visit our website.