CARES Act Policy Summary

Blogs, Letters & Testimonials

March 30, 2020

Key Provisions of CARES Act for K-16 Education

$30.75 billion Education Stabilization Fund

  • $14 billion – Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
  • $13.2 billion – Elementary and Secondary Education Relief Fund
  • $3 billion – Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund
  • $307.5 million – States with the highest Coronavirus burden
  • $153.75 million – Bureau of Indian Education
  •  $153.75 – Outlying Areas

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K- 12 Waivers – Conditions

  • Expedited process: waivers approved or disapproved within 30 days
  • Not to exceed to 2019-2020 academic year, except in the case of MOE
  • Any school identified for support and improvement (CSI, ATS, or TSI) in the 2019-20 school year must remain in improvement for the 2020-21 school year and continue receiving supports
  • In applying for waivers, agencies must describe how coronavirus restricts its ability to comply with the relevant statutory requirement and provide an assurance that the agency will work to mitigate any negative effects that occur as a result of the waiver
  • Waivers must be available for public comment prior to submission, Congress must be notified within 7 days of all approvals, ED must post approved waivers on its website and in the Federal Register within 30 day

Allowable K-12 Waivers – States and Indian Tribes

  • Assessments, including alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities, ELP assessments, and provisions for recently arrived English learners [ESEA 1111(b)(2)-(3)]
  • Accountability, including long-term goals, indicators, annual meaningful differentiation of schools, and school identification for CSI, ATS, and TSI [ESEA 1111(c)(4), 1111(d)(2)(C)-(D)]
  • Related reporting requirements for SEAs and LEAs, including:
    • Description of accountability system
    • Academic achievement
    • Other academic indicator
    • ELP acquisition
    • Achool quality or student success indicators
    • Whether students met long-term goals
    • Percentage of students assessed/not assessed
    • Students taking the alt. assessment

Obligation of Funds: appropriated funds to be obligated and expended by SEAs in the fiscal year, or immediately succeeding fiscal year, in which the appropriation was made [GEPA 421(b)]

Allowable Waivers – States, Tribes, and School Districts

  • Eligibility to operate a school-wide Title I program [ESEA 1114(a)(1)]
  • Maintenance of Effort [ESEA 1118(a) and 8521]
  • 15% Limitation on Carryover of Title I Funds [ESEA 1127]
  • Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (Title IV-A)
    • Requirement (for LEAs receiving >$30,000) to conduct a needs assessment to inform district uses of funds [ESEA 4106(d)]
    • Requirement (for LEAs receiving grants >$30,000) to spend at least 20% of funds on activities supporting a well-rounded education, 20% on activities supporting safe and healthy students, and a portion of remaining funds on effective use of technology [ESEA 4106(e)(2)(C)-(E)]
    • Limitation that no more than 15% of funds may be spent on technology infrastructure [ESEA 4109(b)]
  • Definition of “professional development” under all ESSA programs [ESEA 8101(42)]

Student Loan Relief

  • Six month moratorium (i.e. through Sept 30, 2020) on all federal Direct Loans and pre-2009 federal FFEL loans owned by the U.S. Dept. of Education
    • No interest accrual
    • Suspension of all involuntary collections, wage garnishment, and withholding or reduction of tax refunds during moratorium period
    • Each moratorium month deemed a month in which payments are made for the purpose of federal student loan forgiveness (includes TEACH grants/loans & PSLF)
    • Secretary to send notice to borrowers of actions taken and about to be taken as per this general section
  • NOT included
    • NO moratorium on private student loan collection
    • NO moratorium on federal Perkins loan collection
    • NO moratorium on federal FFEL loans not owned by the U.S. Dept. of Education
    • NO cancelation of underlying principal student loan debt

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Forgivable Small Business “Paycheck Protection” Loan Program

$349 billion for Small Business Administration-backed forgivable loans.

  • Businesses and nonprofits with less than 500 employees can apply for a loan through June 30, 2020
  • Maximum loan amount is $10 million. May be used for payroll costs for employees earning less than $100K, costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits, salaries, rent, payments of mortgage interest, utilities, and debt obligations
  • Loan may be 100% forgiven if the business or non-profit maintains its payroll (i.e. no layoffs, no furloughs); ratable reduction if reduction in payroll or salaried employees
  • SBA to issue guidance and regulations on governing administration and loan forgiveness within 30 days

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