The following information and more is outlined in a 2-page American Rescue Plan overview and funding flow document.
Also, please reference a letter to NASN Members from NASN President Laurie Combe . (March 12, 2021)
What is the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and what does it mean for schools and students?
- The ARP, or Covid-19 Stimulus, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, provides $1.9 trillion in federal funding to accelerate the recovery from the economic and health effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The package includes $122 billion for K-12 public schools with the goals of:
- Safely reopening schools for in-person instruction as soon as possible;
- Sustaining their healthy operations; and
- Addressing significant academic, social, emotional and mental health needs of students.
- School districts can use the funds in a variety of ways, including improving ventilation, reducing class sizes and allowing for social distancing, purchasing personal protective equipment, and hiring additional school nurses to support the health and well-being of students.
- These funds are in addition to the $10 billion recently made available to states by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to pay for Covid-19 testing for K-12 teachers, staff and students.
How will ARP funds be distributed to schools and how will funding decisions be made?
- The U.S Department of Education has pledged to begin making funds available to state educational agencies (SEAs) immediately, and it has announced how much of the $122 billion in funding each state will receive based on the Title 1 funding formula (https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/department-education-announces-american-rescue-plan-funds-all-50-states-puerto-rico-and-district-columbia-help-schools-reopen).
- SEAs must distribute at least 90% of the funding to local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the Title 1 formula.
- This funding can be used to fund obligations incurred through September 30, 2023.
- SEAs can retain up to 10% of the funding for activities, such as after-school and summer enrichment programs, to respond to students’ academic, social and emotional needs and address disproportionate impacts of Covid-19 on underrepresented student subgroups.
Talking Points for School Nurses on the ARP
- I’m sure we all agree that the COVID-19 pandemic has impeded the learning of students and undermined their physical and mental health.
- Prior to the pandemic, schools were already woefully understaffed with regard to nurses and other support personnel. As schools reopen, nurses have a critical role in ensuring that schools effectively address issues related to the health and well-being of children, including the immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on youth.
- As you know, the ARP provides funds to safely reopen schools for in-person instruction as soon as possible and sustain those operations, and school districts can use the funds in a variety of ways, including hiring more school nurses.
- On behalf of the students in our district, I respectfully request this infusion of federal funding is invested in ways that will most effectively achieve the goals of safer classrooms and schools, improved student physical and mental health, and academic readiness. Among the investments that I believe will achieve this goal is (INSERT DISTRICT SPECIFIC request).
Page published April 2021.