How CARES Act helps schools cope with coronavirus costs

Nearing Congressional approval, CARES Act includes a $30.75 billion Education Stabilization Fund
By: | March 26, 2020
Funds provided by the CARES Act would allow schools to buy educational technology, address the needs of students with disabilities and sanitize buildings, among other provisions.Funds provided by the CARES Act would allow schools to buy educational technology, address the needs of students with disabilities and sanitize buildings, among other provisions.

The CARES Act that may soon be signed by President Donald Trump provides funding for school districts facing the increased costs of shifting to online learning and managing the coronavirus-related health and safety issues.

The CARES Act includes a $30.75 billion Education Stabilization Fund to address the needs of all students, including students with disabilities, English language learners and homeless students, according to legal analysis by District Administration’s parent company, LRP Media Group.

For elementary and secondary education, $13.5 billion is available in formula‐grants to states, which will be distributed to districts.

The funds can be used to purchase educational technology to support online learning for all students; for administrative planning during long‐term school closures; and other authorized activities, according to the analysis.


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Local educational agencies can also use CARES Act funds for:

  • Addressing the needs of low‐income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth.
  • Providing mental health services and supports.
  • Coordinating the distribution of meals to eligible students.
  • Planning and implementing summer learning programs and supplemental afterschool activities.
  • Training for staff on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Purchasing supplies to sanitize district facilities.
  • Providing principals and other school leaders with the resources to meet the needs of their individual schools.
  • Working with state, local, tribal, and territorial public health departments to improve coordinated responses to coronavirus.

State governors will share $3 billion to make emergency support grants to local educational agencies that have been most significantly impacted by the coronavirus.

These funds would help these districts continue to provide educational services and operate administrative functions. These funds could also be used to support childcare and early childhood education.


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