New York State School Boards Association

Advocacy Alert: US House Passes Stimulus, President Biden to Sign

March 10, 2021

The House of Representatives officially passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act stimulus package earlier today, following the Senate's passage of the bill late last week. President Biden has indicated that he plans to sign the legislation at the White House on Friday. The ARP stimulus plan provides $1.9 trillion in new funding to state and local governments, state agencies, school districts and individuals.  The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act includes $350 billion in state, local and tribal aid, as well as $126 billion in funding for K-12 education. According to Senator Schumer, New York will receive $100 billion from this stimulus package. Of that amount, the state will receive $12.5 billion in general funding to help plug its massive budget deficit, and K-12 schools will receive $9 billion. The law requires at least 20 percent of K-12 funding be used for learning loss. District-specific allocations - and the timing of those funds - will be formalized by subsequent state action, likely as part of 2021-22 state budget negotiations. The package also includes a carve-out of $2.75 billion for governors to use for private schools. Additionally, the stimulus package will provide more than $7.1 billion to address the digital divide. Funds for this purpose will flow through the E-rate program under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This stimulus package builds upon the $2.2 trillion CARES Act from March 2020 and the $900 billion CRRSA Act from December 2020.

NYSSBA is pleased that this new stimulus package was agreed upon so swiftly and recognizes the effort so many school board members and their communities made to alert their representatives of the dire need for financial relief from the federal government. We want to thank all who participated in our Take Action effort and encourage you to continue to seize advocacy opportunities that we provide you.

In New York, we are in the thick of budget negotiations. The Senate and Assembly are expected to release their one house proposals in the coming days, after which negotiations will intensify, leading up to the April 1 state budget deadline. We are hopeful that news of this stimulus package will shine a brighter light on school aid than the Executive budget proposed and that policymakers will make every possible effort to ensure that these stimulus funds will be used to supplement, not supplant, state aid. Please take action by calling on your state legislators to enact a budget that includes adequate funding for schools by clicking on the link below.

NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team will continue to report on these and other issues.  For more information, visit our Key Issues Page.

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