Federal education relief funds

The United States Congress approved a stimulus package last week that will provide $30 billion to states to be allocated for schools and higher education institutions.

Minnesota is slated to receive just over $365 million, about 1.27% of the total federal allocation. The money will be appropriated based on three relief funds as outlined by the federal government. Minnesota agencies expect guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department next week; it could take about 30 days for the money to be allocated from the federal level, but that specific date will be included in the U.S. Treasury guidance.

Minnesota Total: $365.239 million which is 1.27% of total amount appropriated nationally

Minnesota fund allocation: (Information provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures)

  • Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund: $43.581 million (1.48% of total)
  • Each state will receive funds for governors to allocate for emergency support grants to local educational agencies and institutions of higher education that have been most significantly impacted by the coronavirus. Funds will be allocated based on following formula:
    • 60% of the funds are distributed based on the number of 5- to 24-year-olds in the state.
    • 40% of the funds are distributed based on the number of kids younger than 21 defined by ESSA.
  • Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund: $140.137 million (1.06% of total)
    • Formula grants to states based on the same proportion that each state receives Title-IA. The state can distribute 90% of funds to school districts based on proportional allocation of Title I-A funds. State education agencies can reserve up to 10% of funds for emergency needs determined by the state.
    • Funds to school districts can be used for coronavirus-response activities, such as planning for and coordinating during long-term school closures; purchasing educational technology to support online learning for all students served by the local educational agency; and additional activities authorized by federal elementary and secondary education laws.
  • Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund $181.521 million (1.45% of total)
    • 90% of funds via a formula base, 75% on its share of Pell grant full-time students and 25% on non-Pell grant full-time students, excluding students who were exclusively enrolled online prior to coronavirus.
    • At least 50% of institutional funds must provide emergency financial aid grants to students that can cover eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and childcare.
    • Remaining institutional funds may be used to defray expenses for IHEs, such as lost revenue and technology costs associated with a transition to distance education.

The relief is designed to provide supplementary educational and related services to low achieving and other students attending elementary and secondary schools with relatively high concentrations of students from low-income families.