Support for Local School Districts

Does the American Rescue Plan Act support K-12 schools?

Yes, the American Rescue Plan Act provides $122 billion in funding to help K-12 schools meet the challenges of safely reopening for in-person instruction and addressing learning loss. Funds from the American Rescue Plan Act will flow from the Department of Education down to States. States will be charged with awarding funds to local school dsitricts based on preset formula.

How can school districts effectively use this new source of federal funding?

School districts can use their emergency K-12 funding for a wide range of items to safely reopen for in-person instruction including purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE), improving ventilation, and obtaining additional space to ensure social distancing in classrooms. Funds may also be used to address learning loss, support students with disabilities, and purchase equipment for at-home connectivity for remote learning.


What are the requirements, if any, related to the safe reopening of schools?

Within 30 days of receiving their emergency K-12 funds, school districts are required to develop and make publicly available on the school district’s website a plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services. Before publishing the plan on the school district website, each school district must seek public comment on the plan and take such comments into account in the development of the plan. If school districts already have reopening plans that received public comment and are publicly available on the school districts’ websites, those previous plans can satisfy American Rescue Plan’s requirement related to reopening plans.


How can emergency K-12 funds be used to support students and families experiencing homelessness?

From the $122.8 billion provided in the American Rescue Plan for K-12 schools, the Secretary of Education must use $800 million to identify and provide wraparound services for children and youth experiencing homelessness. Further information from the Department of Education is forthcoming regarding how these funds will be distributed to States and school districts. Additionally, states and school districts may use their emergency K-12 allocations to meet the unique needs of students experiencing homelessness.


Do students who attend private schools receive relief?

Yes. American Rescue Plan includes $2.75 billion in funding for services to private schools that enroll a significant percentage of students from families with low-incomes. This funding will be administered by state Governors.


How can funds be used to support students with disabilities?

The American Rescue Plan provides an additional $3.03 billion in dedicated funds to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) programs. Additionally, school districts receiving emergency K-12 funds can use funds for any authorized activities under IDEA, as well as to meet the needs of students of disabilities in outreach and service delivery, providing technology for online learning, purchasing assistive technology, and planning and implementing summer learning and supplemental afterschool programs.