Weekly NewsBrief 3/29/21 - 4/2/21
State officials release guide for schools on how to spend $7 billion pandemic relief funds – By Kevin Bessler, The Center Square
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education are providing a roadmap for school districts on how to spend $7 billion in federal pandemic relief funds provided in the American Rescue Plan to address learning loss and other educational problems that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Learning Renewal Resource Guide details 12 strategies that school districts and higher education institutions can consider to address the pandemic’s short and long-term impacts. The 180-page guide offers ideas from experts and stakeholders from around the state to assist school districts in renewing learning and provide ongoing feedback.
Pritzker said Illinois schools will receive $7 billion over the next several years from the American Rescue Plan.
“All of it focused on learning renewal, and all of it focused on what kinds of summer programs are necessary, what kinds of tutoring may be necessary for kids who may need some extra assistance, mental health support and so on, all of which may be the effects of the pandemic,” Pritzker said.
Biden's American Jobs Plan proposes $100B to improve school infrastructure – By Kara Arundel, K-12 Dive
The American Jobs Plan outlined by the Biden administration Wednesday includes a number of proposals focused on K-12 schools, in addition to the promise of growing the nation's economy and adding hundreds of thousands of jobs by upgrading the nation’s highways, bridges, and water and energy infrastructure, according to a speech President Joe Biden gave Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
Among the proposals for K-12 are $100 billion for upgrading and constructing new public school buildings and $45 million for grants under the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act to help reduce lead exposure in schools and childcare facilities.
While many education advocates say a comprehensive federal plan and funding for school building improvements is overdue, the entire $2 trillion proposal is dependent on Congressional approval.