House ready to vote next week on critical funding to support safe reopening of schools, stabilize child care system

MALDEN, MAToday, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-5) announced that Massachusetts would receive approximately $3.3 billion in emergency education funding through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, providing essential relief to school districts, students, educators, and families. This funding is a critical piece of the President’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that also includes vaccine distribution funding, aid to state and local governments, food and housing assistance, direct checks to Americans, and small business relief in addition to the education investment.

“American families and educators are in dire need of funding and real solutions to safely get kids and teachers back into classrooms,” said Assistant Speaker Clark. “In Massachusetts alone, the American Rescue Plan would provide $3.3 billion in education funding for our communities, which will help our schools comply with CDC guidelines for safely reopening, give financial aid to our institutions of higher learning and the students they serve, and stabilize our child care sector so that parents can go back to work. These resources are fundamental to reopening our economy and protecting communities, and the House is ready to vote on this urgently needed relief.”

The American Rescue Plan would provide a total of $210 billion in emergency relief for America’s students, schools, colleges, and child care providers; including:

  • $130 billion to help schools take the steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure students and educators can return to the classroom safely. This includes repairing ventilation systems, reducing class sizes and implementing social distancing guidelines, purchasing personal protective equipment, and hiring support staff to care for students’ health and well-being. It is estimated that Massachusetts would receive almost $2 billion in funds for the Commonwealth’s K-12 schools.
  • $40 billion to stabilize America’s child care providers through the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program and Head Start. It is estimated that Massachusetts would receive approximately $525 million in emergency child care funding. 
  • $40 billion for institutions of higher education that are struggling to make up for lost revenue following campus closures, with stipulations including requiring institutions to dedicate at least half of their funding for emergency financial aid grants to prevent hunger, homelessness, and other hardships that students are facing as a result of the pandemic. It is estimated that Massachusetts would receive approximately $825 million in support funding for the Commonwealth’s higher education institutions.

The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on the President’s rescue plan next week, February 22, 2020. The American Rescue Plan would be the most comprehensive COVID-19 relief package to date and the first emergency funding legislation passed during the Biden administration.