House committee to mark up relief measure that includes $130B in K-12 funding
The House Education and Labor Committee is set to mark up its portion of a COVID-19 relief package on Feb. 9 that would provide $130 billion in funding for K-12 education for schools to reopen and return students to the classroom.
If approved by the Democratic-controlled committee, the legislative proposal would be included in a mammoth budget reconciliation package that would fund President Biden’s COVID-19 relief priorities.
Biden’s plan, released in January, called for $130 billion in K-12 funding to be used to:
- Reduce class sizes and modify spaces so students and teachers can socially distance;
- Improve ventilation;
- Hire more janitors and implement mitigation measures;
- Provide personal protective equipment;
- Ensure every school has access to a nurse;
- Increase transportation capacity to facilitate social distancing on the bus;
- Hire counselors to support students as they transition back to the classroom;
- Close the digital divide that is exacerbating inequities during the pandemic;
- Provide summer school or other support for students that will help make up lost learning time this year;
- Create and expand community schools; and
- Cover other costs needed to support safely reopening and to support students.
According to a fact sheet released Feb. 8, the House Education and Labor Committee proposal would allow the K-12 funding to be used for “repairing ventilation systems, reducing class sizes and implementing social distancing guidelines, purchasing personal protective equipment, and hiring support staff to care for students’ health and well-being,” while also requiring that schools reserve 20 percent of funds to “address learning loss.”
Check back for further coverage from Title1Admin®/ESEA Now.
—Charles Hendrix covers education funding and other Title I issues for LRP Publications.