The last state standing is FL: It still hasn’t submitted a plan to get billions for public schools
State plans to the U.S. Department of Education were due June 7
Teacher with students, in a classroom. Credit: Getty Images.
As of Friday, 49 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have submitted plans to the U.S. Department of Education to be able to access billions for COVID-relief programs at public schools.
But Florida isn’t on the list. In fact, it’s the only state that has not submitted such a plan. And the deadline was June 7.
That means Florida is missing out on its share of $2.3 billion dollars in additional COVID relief funds meant to help schools address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding could pay for measures addressing learning loss among students, hire additional staff for schools, or purchase necessary sanitation equipment. Other states have different amounts.
The Florida Phoenix reached out to the state Department of Education to find out why the agency has not yet sent in a state plan to the USDE.
Brett Tubbs, communication staffer with the state department, said in an email on Friday that the funds are intended to be used over several years, “…so, we are working with a frugal mindset to ensure districts have the funds they need to address their full educational recovery over the next few years,” he told the Phoenix in an email.
That seems unusual, given that all other states have been able to send in a plan, and 36 states and Washington, D.C. have already been approved, which means they can access COVID-relief funds for public schools. The allotments range from millions to billions, depending on the state.
In March, the Biden administration announced that $122 billion dollars nationwide was available for schools from the American Rescue Plan act, with two thirds of the money immediately available to states and the remaining third contingent on the USDE’s approval of a state plan indicating how the funds will be used.
Overall, Florida was supposed to get a full stockpile — $15 billion for different COVID relief efforts. So far, close to 3 billion has been spent, according to the USDE.
Here’s what other states have been allotted for the COVID-related relief efforts at public schools, according to the USDE. The total is more than $41 billion. Florida is missing in the list because it hasn’t submitted a plan.
|State||Total Award Amount|
|DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA||$386,476,999|
|Total w/o FLORIDA||$41,011,408,829|
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