Federal dollars sent to States - Advocacy letter included to keep it local - CAG Update
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Posted by: Touda Bentatou
Update from Capitol Advisors Group:
Yesterday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the availability of $3 billion in education relief funding for governors to allocate at their discretion to support schools and colleges. California's portion of the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund is expected to be $355 million. We are also waiting for the U.S. Department of Education to act on the much larger part of the CARES Act, with $1.6 billion for California schools distributed on the basis of Title 1 funding. The two funds together amount to $31 billion in stabilization funds allocated as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, H.R. 748 (116). The department will award grants to governors based on a state's student-aged population and poverty levels.
In a letter to governors, Secretary DeVos called the Governor's fund, "extraordinarily flexible" and stated that it allows governors to decide how best to meet the needs of students, schools, higher education institutions, and child care. The state is allowed to keep 10% of the funds for state level initiatives but must send 90% to the field. Here is a letter drafted for you and statewide groups to utilize in advocating that Governor Newsom provide the funds on a ADA basis with some special consideration for smaller LEAs and that the funds be very flexible. The sample letter cautions the Governor against keeping funds for state administration given that the greatest need is urgently at the local level.
It is anticipated that the California Department of Education will complete the application very quickly, allowing funding to be distributed shortly thereafter.