The Phoenix Flyer

FL already reopened schools but can still get more than 7 billion from the feds for COVID relief

By: - March 18, 2021 5:00 pm
Elementary school class

A new CDC report shows that in 43 states, access to full-time, in-person learning in schools was higher for non-Hispanic white students compared to those of color. , Credit: Getty Images

Florida will get a big cut from the 122 billion pot of COVID-relief money for K-12 schools, as part of the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan.

The money will begin to flow this month, with Florida getting more than 7 billion, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Education.

California will get more than 15 billion — the highest amount of the 50 states — followed by Texas, New York, and Florida.

President Biden’s goal has been to open the majority of K-8 schools within his first 100 days in office.

But Florida has already been doing that since the fall of 2020, when some families sent their children to brick-and-mortar schools while others decided to do online learning at home.

That said, Florida still will get the billions of federal dollars from the COVID-relief package.

In a letter to states’ education commissioners, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said that the money was intended “to safely reopen schools as expeditiously as possible this spring, sustain their healthy operations, and address the significant academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of their students.”

Cardona’s letter notes that states can use the federal funding to “support students who have been most severely impacted by the pandemic,” such as students from low income backgrounds, students of color, students with disabilities, English learners, students experiencing homelessness or trauma, and students without access to technology.

The money could be used in a variety of COVID relief efforts, including the funding of afterschool and summer school programs, hiring additional school personnel, and strategies to meet social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown

Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University. She has served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine and Rowland Publishing. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat.