$1.9 Trillion AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN
Important information for three+one® clients regarding the latest round of federal aid for education:
The new federal aid package that has now been signed into law includes $40 billion for colleges and public universities plus $130 billion for K-12 public schools. Provided below is our initial interpretation for three+one® clients of the allowable uses of the funds. We will continue to rely on our partners at the National Association of Counties (NACo), the U.S. Treasury Department, and the U.S. Department of Education for more detailed information. As that information becomes available, three+one® will constantly strive to keep our clients fully aware of any new guidelines or reporting requirements.
Higher Education Funding: $40 billion
- A MINIMUM OF 50% OF THE FUNDS MUST GO TO STUDENT GRANTS:
For public institutions, at least 50% of the funds must be dedicated to emergency financial aid grants to students to help pay for tuition, housing, food, health care, course materials, child care, and any other related expenses. In the case of “for-profit” higher education institutions, 100% of the funds must go directly to such student aid.
AFTER STUDENT AID, THE REMAINING FUNDS CAN BE USED TO:
- OFFSET LOST REVENUES due to declining student enrollment brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- IMPLEMENT SAFETY PROTOCOLS such as modifying spaces to facilitate social-distancing requirements for the safety of students as well as instructors.
- ENHANCE OR EXPAND DISTANCE LEARNING including hardware, software, and necessary expenses to enhance distance learning.
- MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES including help for emotional well-being, student trauma, and learning disabilities.
K-12 Public School Funding: $130 billion
These funds will be allocated to local school districts using the same Title I distribution criteria that was used for the previous two previous federal pandemic-relief packages. The allowable uses of the funds will include:
- REDUCED CLASS SIZES to help implement social-distancing protocols.
- CLASSROOM MODIFICATIONS FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING including improvements and equipment to help prevent the spread of the disease.
- REMOTE-LEARNING CAPABILITIES including hardware, software, and connectivity requirements in order to facilitate distance learning.
- VENTILATION SYSTEMS including modernization of HVAC equipment and installation of replacement windows in order to improve air quality and help prevent the further spread of the virus.
- HIRING OF MORE CUSTODIANS and janitorial staff in order to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, and to purchase necessary PPE supplies and equipment.
- MORE STUDENT ACCESS TO SCHOOL NURSES and mental health counselors in order to address the medical and emotional needs of students.
- INCREASING TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS by hiring additional bus drivers, increasing fleet size, and adding more ridership capacity in order to comply with the CDC’s social-distancing requirements.
- SUMMER SCHOOL PROGRAMS and after-school programs can be expanded to make up for the loss of learning that has come about due to school shutdowns and closures during the pandemic.
- OTHER EXPENSES that may be needed to safely reopen schools.
We are expecting our valued municipal, educational, and other public-entity clients to see an inflow of about $1 billion in cash within the next 60 days. And about 12 months from now, we expect to see a second $1 billion flowing in to some of these same clients. That is an enormous amount of liquidity that must be managed with the same due diligence and fiduciary oversight that our clients have already been using to manage their other public funds.
We have expanded our three+one® team and added new technologies in order to be fully prepared to seamlessly assist our clients with this once-in-a-lifetime funding opportunity. Keep in mind that by maximizing the interest income of these funds while they are in your custody, your municipality and your community can get an even bigger “bang for the buck.” It is also important to remember that three+one®’s services are considered to be an allowable expense under the U.S. Treasury pandemic-relief guidelines.