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March 11, 2021

How US Covid relief package will benefit schools

By Paul Dennis

11 March

Joshua Goodman, an associate professor of education and economics at the Boston University, retweeted an article by Matt Barnum on the US Congress having approved a massive infusion of funds for schools and high-poverty districts, included as part of the pandemic relief package that includes $128bn for K-12 education and billions for state governments.

This is expected to lead to a dramatic reversal in fortune with some school districts going from fearing budget cuts to being cash rich.

The funds, which is part of the American Rescue Plan for Covid recovery, is expected to become law later this week.

Experts had earlier predicted that the Covid-induced economic dip would threaten US’s disadvantaged schools the most.

However, the new money amounts to approximately $2,500 per student across the nation, although high-poverty districts will see more.

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Cleveland’s school district, for instance, where a majority of students come from low-income households, will be allocated approximately $8,000 per student, on top of the $4,500 per student it has already received as part of the pandemic relief.

The education funds are being seen as the biggest single federal plan for K-12 education in US history and is expected to be used by October 2023.

Districts have been advised on using at least 20% of the money to fix learning loss, while the rest can be used for anything related to Covid safety kits such as masks, retaining teachers, and building after-school programmes.

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