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CARES Act Funding for K-12

Posted by PATHS Program LLC on Jun 1, 2020 1:17:28 PM

Portrait of smiling little school kids in school corridorThe CARES Act Earmarked $13.2 Billion for K-12 Funding, Including SEL.

Educators are some of the best suited to adapt to change. Every year brings changes, new students, new trends, new ideas… There’s no doubt that the 2020-2021 school year will bring a lot of change.

It’s at this time in the school year that teachers and districts usually turn their attention to the fall. Several states have already announced that they will re-open face to face learning in Fall 2020, while others are waiting to see what happens.

Districts are making contingency plans for all of the “what if” scenarios that they will face come fall. One known issue is addressing our collective mental health and COVID-related trauma during school closures. Both students and educators had their learning experience turned on its head, and that’s left a lot of heads spinning.

This is one reason why CASEL and PATHS Program LLC recommend implementing social emotional learning (SEL) in schools this fall or during summer programs.

Even in good school budget years, new initiatives are hard to fund. However, many schools are already using the funds made available from the CARES Act and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF) to invest in SEL curriculum.

Future Ed reports that the CARES Act, passed in March 2020, earmarks $13.2 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Education (ESSE) Relief Fund. Another $3 billion goes to the Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund, which governors can use for “significantly impacted” school districts.

ESSE lists 12 allowable uses of K-12 relief funds, one of which includes mental health support and another involves supporting low-income students, as well as support for individual students. The DOE has provided an estimate on how much each state would receive under CARES.

The GEERF provides additional financial support for social emotional learning, with fewer restrictions as Teacher.org reports. Governors will have discretion on how to distribute and earmark the funds.

No matter if schools are teaching face to face or hybrid this fall, SEL can help students process the emotions they’ve been experiencing while learning from home. It can also help teachers re-connect with students who have struggled to maintain the habits of attending school, paying attention in class, and other behaviors that cause disruption.

PATHS Program offers online training for teachers, included in every classroom implementation package. Several school districts have already started their training in order to prepare for whatever changes the next school year will bring.

During school closures, our team has moved the Pre-K through Grade 5 PATHS® program and Grades 6-8 Emozi(™) program into online lessons available for members to use in their classrooms. We’re developing additional online resources each month to help schools through this murky phase.

Contact us for more information on how the PATHS® program or Emozi™ program can help your school, as well as work within the CARES Act funding.

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Topics: Social and emotional learning, school climate, COVID-19, cares act, school budgets, educational funding