Getting a good education is one of the building blocks of society. Because of the pandemic, a normal school routine has been rendered impossible. That’s part of the reason the pandemic stimulus bill has been issued. You might have one big question: how does it pay out?
Two trillion dollars have been included in the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was signed into law on March 24, 2020. In that law, $30.75 billion was set aside for schools and educational institutions dedicated to public education. K-12 state education agencies received $13 billion; colleges and universities received $14 billion; governors received $3 billion, and $600 million was divided amongst states that are hotspots, or the hardest hit by the virus, and are also allocated towards the Bureau of Indian Education.
Cash Flow Crisis
Even so, there is a considerable cash flow crisis. The problem comes from lower-tier divisions of where the money will go once it has been distributed, and that money isn’t going to be immediate despite the scale of the money coming in.
In terms of the K-12 schools, most of the money will be spent on local levels for individual districts and charter schools based on their adherence to Title I regulations. The funding in this direction has a modicum of flexibility, but most of it is intended to relieve hardships directly impacted by the crisis.
Although the governors’ fund doesn’t sound like much money compared to the rest of where the money is going, it is still useful. It is also the most flexible. It is meant to help support whichever institution is the most heavily affected by current circumstances.
Technology and Priorities
One flaw in the plan is how technology has been left out. Remote education relies on distance learning taken to the next level, as we have previously discussed. There is no dedicated fund for extending money towards educational technology and resources that many schools would normally depend on even if there was no pandemic; the most basic of these resources being Internet accessibility. Part of the problem stems from the apparent lack of understanding and how education has been deemed a “second-tier priority.”
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