Legislative Affairs

  • 1.  Phase Three COVID-19 Response Bill

    Posted 03-26-2020 11:26
    Early this morning, the Senate unanimously voted to proceed with a phase-three stimulus package in response to COVID-19, which will go to the House for consideration this week. The $2 trillion package would allot nearly $31 billion in emergency education funding and provide some relief/flexibilities with student loan payments, among other items.

    We will provide an update during today's webinar at 12:00pm noon (EST). Please register if you'd like to attend. Also, be on the lookout for the recording, which we will add to the Webinar Archive Library on the Global School Business Network. Last week's SBO Live Panel Discussion on COVID-19 Issues is also now available in the archives. 

    Education Week reports that the "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act" or CARES Act, passed by the Senate "would provide the following funding:
    • $15.5 billion for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program;
    • $8.8 billion for Child Nutrition Programs to help ensure students receive meals when school is not in session;
    • $3.5 billion for Child Care and Development Block Grants, which provide child-care subsidies to low-income families and can be used to augment state and local systems;
    • $750 million for Head Start early-education programs;
    • $100 million in Project SERV grants to help clean and disinfect schools, and provide support for mental health services and distance learning;
    • $69 million for schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Education; and
    • $5 million for health departments to provide guidance on cleaning and disinfecting schools and day-care facilities. 
    The $13.5 billion in stabilization fund money could be used to provide K-12 students internet connectivity and internet-connected devices, and a separate item in the bill for rural development provides $25 million to support "distance learning.""

    As the legislation changes and progresses, we will continue to share updates on education-related provisions here on this thread. In the meantime, please keep checking our COVID-19 blog for new resources and updates daily.

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  • 2.  RE: Phase Three COVID-19 Response Bill

    Posted 03-26-2020 17:06
    Edited by ASBO USA 03-26-2020 17:07

    Please find several links below to learn more about the Senate CARES Act (phase-three of Congress' emergency response packages to provide support regarding COVID-19, as discussed on today's legislative update webinar). 

    The Committee for Education Funding (CEF) reports the House will vote on it tomorrow morning it is expected to pass. This is the third bill Congress has been working on to provide emergency responses, and by far the largest at an estimated $2.2 trillion.
    • For comparison, the entire federal budget last year was $4.4 trillion.
    • The CARES Act has about $31 billion in supplemental fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding for the Department of Education plus more for education programs in other agencies, the biggest of which are the Child Care and Development Block Grant and Head Start in the Department of Health and Human Services.
      • Some of the biggest items for education are:
        • funding to aid schools (public and private) in providing educational and other services while they are physically closed and to disinfect;
        • Funding for institutions of higher education to backfill for lost revenue and to provide emergency grants to college students impacted by the pandemic;
        • a six-month moratorium on payments, interest accrual, and collection action on student loans under the Direct Loan program;
        • continuation of student aid grants and public service loan forgiveness this semester even when work and education is interrupted; and
        • authority for the Secretary of Education to waive Elementary and Secondary Education provisions and Maintenance of Efforts requirements for states.

    To access a recording of today's webinar and learn more information on the Senate bill, please visit ASBO International's Webinar Archive Library and listen to "03-26-2020 - ASBO's Federal Funding Forecast: COVID-19 Update."



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  • 3.  RE: Phase Three COVID-19 Response Bill

    Posted 03-30-2020 15:59

    Summary of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Stability Act (CARES ACT): Education Provisions

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Stability Act (CARES ACT) is now law. Here is a summary of major provisions of concern to the education sector, provided by the Committee for Education Funding (CEF).

    (Note: Federal FY20 funding influences dollars available during the 2020-2021 school year. FY21 funding influences district dollars during the 2021-2022 school year).

    Legislative text and congressional summaries –
    Final legislative text. Division A is everything but appropriations, and Division B is the appropriations language.
    Section-by-Section description of Division A
    One-pager on HELP Committee provisions - from Majority Committee staff
    Two summaries of the appropriations section (Division B) – from Senate Appropriations Committee Majority and Minority staffs


    Funding – Section B of the Act has about $31 billion in supplemental fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding for the Department of Education plus more for education programs in other agencies, the biggest of which are the Child Care and Development Block Grant and Head Start in the Department of Health and Human Services.


    $30.9 billion in Department of Education fundingThe Act includes $30.9 billion in emergency funding for the Department of Education. 

    • $30.75 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund for PreK-12 and higher education (Division B, Title VIII of the legislative text). This total includes:
      • Up to a total of 2% for: outlying areas (up to half a percent); Bureau of Indian Education (half a percent); and the states hardest hit (1%). 
      • The rest is divided into three pots – the Act gives the percentages and the summaries give the funding amounts, but those don't reflect 2% of the total being given out as described above:
      • 9%, or about $13.5 billion for elementary and secondary education – distributed to states using the Title 1 formula. This funding can also be used for non-public schools (page 764) and can be used for any activity authorized under the major education laws (ESSA, IDEA, Perkins CTE, Adult Education and Family Literacy, McKinney-Vento Homeless Education). 
      • 8%, or about $3 billion for governors with discretion to be used for emergency grants for the most affected local educational agencies and institutions of higher education and those deemed essential to providing child care, early childhood, K-12, or higher education services; and
      • 3% or about $14.25 billion for higher education emergency relief for institutions and at least 50% for emergency financial aid to students for expenses related to the pandemic.
      • Maintenance of Effort requirements – while the bill requires states receiving this aid to maintain their own educational support this year and next year at least at the average of the three preceding years, the Secretary of Education can waive that requirement. 
    • $100 million for Project SERV.
    • $8 million for Departmental Management.
    • $7 million for the Inspector General's office.

    $3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant in the Department of Health and Human Services.

    $750 million for Head Start in the Department of Health and Human Services.

    $360 million for Department of Labor training programs and to implement the new Unemployment Insurance and paid leave programs.


    Changing authority for higher education funding/eligibility and student loan items during the pandemic – Section A of the Act automatically pauses all federal student loan payments and interest for six months, continues student loan and Pell Grant eligibility for those who have to drop out, allows states and institutions of higher education to apply for waivers from certain requirements, allows flexibility in the use of institutional and campus-based aid. The provisions are listed below:

    • Tax-free employer-provided student loan repayment - Title II, Subtitle B, Section 2206 allows employers to provide up to $5,250 annually tax-free as a loan repayment benefit through the end of this calendar year.
    • Title III, Part IV, Subtitle B – Education Provisions
      • Waives the institutional match for campus-based aid (Section 3503);
      • Allows institutions to use Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) for pandemic-related emergency student aid (section 3504);
      • Federal Work-Study payments can continue to students whose jobs closed (Section 3505);
      • For students who had to drop out, doesn't count this semester or grades for eligibility for student loans and Pell Grants or make the students or institutions return the loans or grants (Sections 3506, 3507, 3508, and 3509);
      • Allows distance learning for US students who were at foreign institutions (Section 3510);
      • Allows the Secretary to waive regulations under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act except for civil rights (Section 3511);
      • Automatically defers student loan payments, interest, and collections through September 30 for all federal student loans (Section 3513);
      • Continues teacher loan forgiveness and TEACH grant service requirements this school year even though schools closed (Section 3519).


    ASBO International has reached out to CEF for any information about state-by-state estimates of funding for these programs related to the CARES Act to help members with budget planning and forecasting. As we receive more information we will continue to share it here.



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  • 4.  RE: Phase Three COVID-19 Response Bill

    Posted 04-01-2020 15:35
    Edited by ASBO USA 04-01-2020 17:02
      |   view attached
    As noted in our prior alert, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Stability Act (CARES ACT) would provide nearly $31 billion in funding for Department of Education programs, the majority of which ($30.75 billion) would go toward an Education Stabilization Fund to support PreK-12 and higher education.

    The program reserves 2% of funding for outlying areas, Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and for ED competitive grants awarded to states/BIE with the "highest coronavirus burden". The other 98% of funding will be split up into three pots: the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (9.8%), the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (43.9%), and the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (46.3%). 

    The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report (attached), "Estimated State Grants Under the Education Stabilization Fund Included in the
    Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act" which shares estimates of how the Fund could be broken up and allocated to states. Please see a summary table for funding broken out by each state on the last three pages, but note that these are estimates and not official or complete numbers (it only accounts for 90% of funding). However, this information should provide a basic idea about what federal resources will be available as state and local education agency leaders work together to respond to COVID-19 in their communities.   ​


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  • 5.  RE: Phase Three COVID-19 Response Bill

    Posted 04-08-2020 15:32
    John Hopkins Institute for Education Policy published a primer on the CARES Act which provides a summary of the law's education funding provisions, information about how states and districts can spend these funds, what the conditions are to receive funding, who is eligible, and the timeline for expenditures.

    The memo answers the following questions:

    1. How much money does each state have to draw upon?
    2. What, specifically, can the money be used for?
    3. Are the funds exclusive to district schools, or do the usual Title I opportunities exist for
    private schools? What about charter schools?
    4. What is the time frame in which the funds need to be allocated and spent?
    5. Are there any carve-outs for districts - or is everything targeted to SEAs?
    6. What are the legislative next steps?


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