Congress approves American Rescue Plan

The US House this week gave final passage to the American Rescue Plan, the COVID relief bill championed by President Biden, which includes nearly $170 billion for public education nationwide. The $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill includes $15.7 billion for public K-12 and higher education in Texas.

Biden is expected to sign the legislation tomorrow.

Among many other provisions, it includes:

  • $7 billion to help students connect to the internet and help schools purchase computers through the federal E-Rate program and help bridge the digital divide.
  • $39 billion for early-childhood programs.
  • $350 billion in state and local aid to help avoid further layoffs of educators and other essential public employees.
  • Funds to help schools reopen safely, including money for more sanitation supplies, personal protective equipment and upgraded ventilation systems.

Read more highlights here.

NEA President Becky Pringle applauded the bill.

“We finally have the vital and comprehensive response to provide students, educators, families and hard-working Americans with the desperately needed relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis,” she said.

“This historic legislation not only provides the resources to help every school building put in place the effective measures needed to keep students and educators safe; it also makes extraordinary investments that will lift countless children and families out of poverty and works to address the immense inequities that have systematically affected the most vulnerable students and communities of color.”

Congress approves massive infusion of funds for schools, and high-poverty districts will get the most