Funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is a topic on everyone’s mind. And with good reason. The $1.9 trillion in new federal investment has the potential to cut poverty in half, according to some experts’ predictions, and it provides huge supports to schools. Recognizing the historic potential and magnitude of this influx of federal support and the work ahead, Collaborative Communications will be curating and sharing media coverage about the ARP on an ongoing basis.
To get you up to speed, here are several sources that provide a high-level understanding of the Act’s key provisions:
- Help Kids Recover showcases the evidence base about how community-based afterschool and summer programs support students and accelerate their learning, aimed at helping them make effective use of American Rescue Plan funding. The effort is part of a campaign from the Afterschool Alliance, After-School All-Stars, Boys & Girls Club of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, National AfterSchool Association, YMCA of the USA, and other youth experts.
- National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL): American Rescue Plan Act of 2021provides a broad overview of the Act, as well as specific sections focused on different areas of support.
- The Alliance for Excellent Education’s Summary of K–12 Education Provisions is a one-page overview that focuses on the education components and funding streams.
- This March 11 blog post “The American Rescue Plan: What’s In It for K-12 Schools?”prepared by K-12 finance analyst Chris Duncombe at the Education Commission of the States includes a chart contrasting the American Rescue Plan with two earlier federal COVID-19 relief efforts.
- The White House’s own overview highlights the Biden Administration’s objectives for how the Act could help individuals in different occupations and family situations, and also includes a link to a more detailed description here.
Additionally, here are recent news stories and opinion pieces we’ve been reading that we think you’ll find of interest:
- Education Week: “See What the Huge COVID-19 Aid Deal Biden Has Signed Means for Education, in Two Charts” by Andrew Ujifusa includes information about how funds are distributed by focus area. It features an interactive database tool developed with the Learning Policy Institute using Congressional Research Service data that looks at the full set of funding data for the education provisions at a state level, including estimated per-pupil funding figures and funding for local learning-recovery efforts, among other details. (3/11/21)
- Education Week created a helpful video explainer featuring Mr. Ujifusa, who is the co-author of Education Week’s Politics K-12 blog. In this 5-minute clip, he shares his perspective on what the American Rescue Plan means for schools, including timelines, requirements, and what it means for getting and keeping schools open. (4/5/21)
- The 74 Million: “Emergency Aid Won’t Last Forever. Using Some to Create a Corps of Coaches, Coordinators & Mentors to Support Teachers Would Ensure Long-Term Benefits” is an opinion piece from City Year CEO Jim Balfanz and Carol G. Basile, Dean of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. In it, the authors advocate for use of American Rescue Plan funding to build a stronger support system around teachers that could have long-lasting impacts on teacher retention. (4/6/21)
- Senior technology reporter Tony Romm flags in The Washington Post; “Biden seeks huge funding increases for education, health care and environmental protection in first budget request to Congress” how President Biden’s first budget request to Congress could, if enacted, boost the US Department of Education’s budget by 41 percent in the next fiscal year, and further expand initiatives included in the American Rescue Plan. (4/9/21)
We hope you find this informative, and we look forward to sharing more stories and background in the weeks and months to come. Please reach out to us and let us know if there are particular topics you want more information on or would like to read about!
We welcome your suggestions of insightful content about the American Rescue Plan. Share your favorite reads by emailing Vice President Meg Sommerfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org.