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The White House recently announced more details around the plan to get students back in classrooms- and school testing programs are a main priority. Here’s what you should know about the “initial investment” meant to help K-8 schools reopen by the end of April.

The White House announced Thursday the administration will host a summit on safely reopening schools and direct $650 million in funding to schools to expand testing in underserved communities.
During his prime time speech Thursday, President Joe Biden noted his announcement last week to vaccinate teachers and school officials by the end of March will help the majority of K-8 schools reopen within his first 100 days in office, or by the end of April.

“This is going to be the number one priority of my new Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona,” Biden said.
The Department of Education will host a national Safe School Reopening Summit this month to provide assistance in implementing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s strategies for in-person instruction, according to a senior White House official.

Read this full article in USA Today: Joe Biden administration will devote $650 million to help schools expand testing

The inauguration of Joe Biden takes place this week. The President-elect recently proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package which includes new aid for K-12 and higher education. Here are the details on his approach, which has been called a “rescue plan” aimed at reopening schools.

(Updated 1/14) A new, $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposed by President-elect Joe Biden would dedicate an additional $170 billion for K-12 schools and higher education, as well as spending billions more to prop up the state and local governments that are critical to funding education.

Biden’s announcement comes less that a month since Congress approved a $900 billion Covid relief package that included about $82 billion for education. The December 2020 package provides:

  • $54.3 billion for K-12 schools, largely delivered through Title I funding. That’s about four times what schools received in the CARES Act approved in March.
  • $22.7 billion for higher education with $1.7 billion set aside for minority-serving institutions and close to $1 billion for for-profit colleges
  • $4 billion for governors to spend at their discretion, with $2.7 billion of that for private schools.Biden’s proposal would put another $130 billion toward K-12 schools and $35 billion to support higher education institutions. Another $5 billion would go to governors to use at their discretion for the “hardest hit” K-12, higher education or early education programs. The K-12 dollars would be focused on helping schools reopen, though the allowable uses would be quite broad, A portion would be used challenge grants focused on educational equity.

Read this full article in FutureEd: What Congressional Covid Funding Means for K-12 Schools