Biden’s proposed relief plan would provide $130 billion to schools
President Biden’s plan to provide $130 billion to schools aims to relieve districts of the challenges they continue to face from the pandemic. As some children have spent almost an entire year learning remotely, there is an even greater necessity to provide schools with the funds necessary to effectively support students in a time when the wellbeing of many families has been threatened. If passed, some of the funding measures include:
- $60 billion to help schools avoid layoffs. Without additional resources, and if estimated budget cuts go into effect, districts would have to cut hundreds of thousands of jobs in the next year. Less teachers and staff would limit the amount of social distancing, proper sanitation, and smaller class sizes schools are able to provide.
- $50 billion to cover costs of social distancing. The CDC has recommended a six-foot distance between individuals throughout the pandemic. Safely reopening schools will require additional staffing and redesigned learning spaces in order to enforce this distance.
- $3 billion to hire additional health staff. School nurses would be hired at 25 percent of schools who currently do not have one.
- $6 billion to provide PPE. This would allow teachers and students who receive free and reduced-price lunch to receive PPE.
Photo by The Colorado Sun
While the funding proposed in the current plan could allow for immediate relief, it may not account for the long-term needs required by districts in the years following the pandemic. A recent report from Education Resource Strategies addressed the numerous ways in which COVID-19 has compounded the already-existing problems in schools, which include flat or declining funding.
In fact, this report estimated that an average of $2,500 per pupil per year will be needed to account for students’ increased academic and social emotional support. While the funding in Biden’s plan could potentially restore districts to pre-pandemic learning levels, it may not even begin to address the funding disparities that have widened throughout the pandemic.
However, federal officials have emphasized that this plan is just a first step of many that seeks to provide relief to the American public.
To read more about Biden’s proposed plan and how it would address students, click here.