U.S. Department of Education Approves Florida’s Plan for Use of American Rescue Plan Funds to Support K-12 Schools and Students, Distributes Remaining $2.3 Billion to State

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At the moment, the U.S. Division of Schooling (Division) introduced the approval of Florida’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary College Emergency Aid (ARP ESSER) plan and distribution of the remaining funds. Florida’s plan particulars how the state is utilizing and plans to make use of ARP ESSER funds to maintain the protected operation of colleges and equitably develop alternative for college students who want it most, significantly these most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of this week, with the assistance of American Rescue Plan funds, about 96% of all faculties had been open for full-time, in-person instruction. The Division just lately issued a brand new useful resource to state and native leaders stressing the significance of full-time, protected, in-person studying and the way federal funds can be utilized to attain that aim.

Earlier this yr, the Division distributed two-thirds of the ARP ESSER funds, totaling $81 billion, to 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. The remaining third of the funding to states was made out there as soon as a state’s plan was authorized. Florida acquired greater than $7 billion complete in ARP ESSER funds, and the approval of their plan launched the ultimate $2.3 billion. All 52 ARP ESSER state plans have been authorized.

“I’m excited to announce approval of Florida’s plan,” mentioned U.S. Secretary of Schooling Miguel Cardona. “It’s heartening to see, mirrored in these state plans, the methods during which states are pondering deeply about tips on how to use American Rescue Plan funds to proceed to supply important assist to faculties and communities. The approval of those plans permits states to obtain important, further American Rescue Plan funds to assist maintain faculties open for full-time, in-person studying; meet college students’ tutorial, social, emotional, and psychological well being wants; and tackle disparities in entry to instructional alternative that had been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The state plans which have been submitted to the Division lay the groundwork for the methods during which an unprecedented infusion of federal sources might be used to handle the pressing wants of America’s kids and construct again higher.”

“As COVID-19 charges soar throughout Florida, this federal funding is a important lifeline to retaining kids and lecture rooms protected and safeguarding our productive studying environments throughout the state,” mentioned Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “The unwavering management of President Biden and Secretary Cardona has been important to making sure that college students, lecturers, and employees can preserve tutorial success, in addition to bodily, social, and emotional assist, as high schooling priorities all through this pandemic.”

“As our nation continues navigating the troublesome intricacies of the COVID-19 pandemic, we should think about the consequences our choices on the state and federal ranges can have on our college students,” mentioned Rep. Darren Soto. “I’m thrilled to see the Division of Schooling approve Florida’s plan as a result of it’s going to enable us to mitigate studying loss, improve assist companies, and promote the psychological and bodily well being of our college students. Because of the American Rescue Plan, we now have been in a position to present desperately wanted sources to our most susceptible populations and provides the American folks an opportunity to get well from this once-in-a-lifetime disaster.”

“After voting to advance the American Rescue Plan via the Home Schooling and Labor Committee and on the Home ground, I’m extremely happy that the U.S. Division of Schooling has authorized Florida’s ARP ESSER plan,” mentioned Rep. Frederica S. Wilson. “Florida will now obtain the excellent portion of its $7 billion ARP ESSER award, which is able to higher equip college districts to soundly preserve in-person studying and supply sources to assist the general well-being of scholars, lecturers and assist employees throughout the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, college districts can now depend on these important sources to satisfy native wants and guarantee schooling fairness.”

The ARP ESSER state plans authorized by the Division, together with Florida’s, present how states are utilizing federal pandemic sources to assist protected, in-person instruction and meet the social, emotional, psychological well being, and tutorial wants of scholars—with a give attention to the scholars most impacted by the pandemic. For instance:

Addressing the Tutorial Impression of Misplaced Educational Time: The Florida Division of Schooling (FDOE) will use ARP ESSER funding to implement a tutoring initiative for college students within the early grades centered on closing gaps which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. FDOE additionally will present grants to all college districts to spend money on evidence-based studying methods {and professional} improvement aligned to the science of studying, together with deploying literacy coaches. As well as, FDOE will use ARP ESSER funds to supply formulation grants to develop entry to STEM applications, to assist math acceleration and develop laptop science credentials in excessive faculties.

Investing in Summer season Studying and Expanded Afterschool Packages: FDOE will present matching grants to highschool districts to reinforce or create evidence-based summer season studying applications with a give attention to studying achievement and evidence-based complete afterschool and weekend applications to assist acceleration in literacy achievement.

The distribution of ARP ESSER funds is a part of the Division’s broader effort to assist college students and districts as they work to re-engage college students impacted by the pandemic, tackle inequities exacerbated by COVID-19, and construct our schooling system again higher than earlier than. Along with offering $130 billion for Okay-12 schooling within the American Rescue Plan to assist the protected reopening of Okay-12 faculties and meet the wants of all college students, the Biden-Harris Administration additionally has:

Prioritized the vaccination of educators, college employees and youngster care staff resulting in greater than 90% of faculty employees vaccinated nationwide.
Hosted a National Safe School Reopening Summit and launched a collection of Fairness Summits centered on addressing inequities that existed earlier than however had been made worse by the pandemic.
Offered $10 billion in funding for COVID-19 testing for PreK-12 educators, employees, and college students. As a part of the Administration’s efforts to extend entry to and implementation of testing applications in faculties, the Administration partnered with the CDC and the Rockefeller Basis to supply sources to assist be certain that all faculties can entry and arrange screening testing applications as rapidly as attainable. The Division additionally supplied aFAQ outlining allowable use of funds for ESSER and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund for coronavirus testing amongst different makes use of.
Developed a Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse elevating a whole lot of greatest practices to assist faculties’ efforts to reopen safely and tackle the impacts of COVID-19 on college students, educators, and communities.
Introduced new mental health resourcesto supply info and sources to reinforce the promotion of psychological well being and the social and emotional well-being amongst kids and college students.
Launched three volumes of the COVID-19 Handbook to establish evidence-based methods to satisfy the social, emotional, psychological well being, and tutorial wants of scholars and assist the educator workforce.
Launched a report on the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on underserved communities.

Along with the actions the Biden Administration has taken to reopen faculties, the President has proposed important investments via his Construct Again Higher Agenda. The Construct Again Higher laws will provide common and free preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds, make youngster care and schooling past highschool extra inexpensive, create extra coaching and apprenticeship alternatives, enhance the utmost Pell Grant, and supply historic investments in Traditionally Black Schools and Universities, Tribal Schools and Universities, and minority-serving establishments.



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