The CARES Act: Strengthened Investments in K-12 and Higher Education to Support Students and Schools During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Led by efforts from U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Congress recently passed the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help support workers, families, businesses, communities and more struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic and response. The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020, and includes $30.75 billion to create a new Education Stabilization Fund that will help support students as well as K-12 schools and higher education institutions. Approximately $495 million will go to Washington state:
🔘 For K-12 schools: approximately $216.9 million in federal funding to school districts to support a variety of efforts including:
✅ Developing plans for assuring students continue to receive school meals
✅ Purchasing technology and broadband connectivity to make sure students have the tools they need for online learning
✅ Helping schools provide child care for essential workers
✅ Providing mental health resources for students
🔘 For Higher education institutions: approximately $221.5 million in federal funding will help:
✅ Provide emergency financial aid to students to help with basic needs such as food, housing, and child care
✅ Ensure students taking classes through distance education have access to technology and course materials
✅ Support colleges in preparedness and response efforts
The law also provides flexibility for students currently on federal financial aid. If you have had to leave school due to the coronavirus, this term won’t count towards your financial aid lifetime limits, the portion of your loan for this term is canceled, and your Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements are waived. As the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, Senator Murray is committed to building on the steps taken in the CARES Act to strengthen federal resources and support to help students and schools weather this crisis.
Washington state higher education students and families should reach out to institutions of higher education for more information and resources regarding assistance that may be available.
Washington state K-12 students and families can find more information and resources via the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction HERE.