Press Releases

Rep. Roybal-Allard Highlights Funding to Help Schools Stay Open Safely, Get Students Back on Track

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Washington, August 26, 2021 | Benjamin Bryant ((202) 309-2383) | comments

Downey, CA – As students in California’s 40th District and statewide return to school this year amid the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) today highlighted the allocation of $15 billion for schools across California through the American Rescue Plan, which Rep. Roybal-Allard helped pass through the House of Representatives in February. Now, as students and educators begin the school year amid rising COVID-19 case levels, these funds are playing a critical role in helping school districts stay open safely, make up for lost time in the classroom, and ensure students receive the supportive services they need to succeed.

The American Rescue Plan made the largest one-time investment in K-12 education in the nation’s history, allocating $122.8 billion for the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund to help K-12 schools nationwide get back on track and including $15 billion for California students and schools.

“Keeping students in the classroom safely is critical for children, families, and our economy, and it’s essential that we help schools reopen safely, stay open safely, and make up for lost time in the classroom,” said Rep. Roybal-Allard.  “I was proud to help pass the American Rescue Plan, which has provided this historic investment in K-12 education and has allocated millions of dollars for the Los Angeles United School District and other schools that serve my constituents in the 40th District. Ensuring students’ health, safety, and continued education is crucial to their future success, and I applaud my Democratic colleagues and President Biden for helping to provide my constituents and others with the resources they need to protect and educate our children.”

School districts may use the funding in the American Rescue Plan to improve the health and safety of their classrooms, such as upgrading ventilation systems, purchasing masks, and taking other science-based steps recommended by public health officials. School districts may also use funds to hire social workers and mental health counselors to support students’ social, emotional, and mental health. In addition, school districts are required to spend at least 20 percent of the funding they receive to help make up for lost time in the classroom, which may include extending the school day, creating afterschool programs, and bolstering summer learning or summer enrichment programs to help students cope with the impact of the pandemic.

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