American Schools Need More Time to Spend Money from American Rescue Plan, Advocates Say

American schools have enough funds. They received $122 billion under the American Rescue Plan last spring, the largest single federal investment in public education. The money can be used to buy COVID-19 tests, hire counselors, repair air filtration systems, or whatever else students need to survive the pandemic. However, the money should be spent until  September 2024.

Seeking extensions to spend money

According to Market Place, a coalition of school organizations, networks, and campaign groups said that they are seeking more time to spend the money, as they sent a letter to the Secretary of Education.

Claremont School, located in New York’s Hudson River Valley, is one of the institutions that seek an extension. The school is located inside the Ossining school district, which got a $10 million grant from the American Rescue Plan.

Ray Sanchez, the Ossining school district superintendent, said that there was a sense of awe and genuine appreciation in the air, but there is also a great deal of responsibility that comes with it.

At the moment, if schools fail to spend the money before the deadline, the money will be returned to the federal government.

American Rescue Plan Elementary, Secondary School Emergency Relief

As reported by the Department of Education, in partnership with the National Comprehensive Center, the US Department of Education has released a new tool to help states share their experiences with the $122 billion American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds.

In addition to supporting safe in-person instruction, this funding will assist to mitigate the effects of missed instructional time caused by COVID-19, as well as satisfy the social, emotional, and psychological needs of students, and meet their academic needs.

It also stated that other states are invited to define the techniques they are implementing that could serve as promising practices for other states and the nation in order to ensure that ARP ESSER funds are used appropriately and effectively as intended by the law through the ARP Partnership, Assistance, Transformation, and Heightened Support (ARP PATHS) tool.

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