Understand New COVID-19 Relief Funding for Schools

February 2021

Update: On Thursday, March 11, 2021,  President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law. The final allocations for education remain largely unchanged from the original proposed legislation detailed in the article below. The US Department of Education will now formulate guidance for states on how this newest round of funding will be distributed.


It’s no doubt that school funding has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Declining state revenue, and therefore less tax revenue, has left many K-12 districts scrambling to understand what lies ahead.

Lawmakers in Washington, DC are considering another round of COVID-19 stimulus funding that will have financial implications for K-12 school districts if signed into law. This latest round of proposed funding is on top of the second wave of COVID-19 relief passed by Congress and signed into law at the end of 2020.

Let’s take a look at what is now available, as well as what may become available soon.

New school funding passed in December 2020

In December 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) which was a $900 billion stimulus package that included an additional $54.3 billion in federal assistance to K-12 schools. This new funding will be delivered in a manner similar to Title 1 funds. This act also includes an additional $4 billion that governors can use at their discretion to support “education institutions most significantly impacted by the pandemic.” Of this $4 billion, governors can allocate $2.75 billion for private and parochial schools to use on equipment, training, staff and other items needed to keep the schools operating.

The U.S. Education Department released the following information about distribution of the $54.3 billion provided in the December 2020 relief package. Here is the state-by-state breakdown:

Total Local Share State Share State Admin
NATIONAL 54.3B 48.8B 5.4B 271.5M
ALABAMA 899M 809.5M 89.9M 4.4M
ALASKA 159.7M 143.7M 15.9M 798,600
ARIZONA 1.1B 1B 114.9M 5.7M
ARKANSAS 558M 502.2M 55.8M 2.8M
CALIFORNIA 6.7B 6B 670.9M 33.5M
COLORADO 519.3M 467.3M 51.9M 2.6M
CONNECTICUT 492.4M 443.1M 49.2M 2.4M
DELAWARE 182.8M 164.6M 18.2M 914,400
D.C. 172M 154.8M 17.2M 860,100
FLORIDA 3.1B 2.8B 313.3M 15.6M
GEORGIA 1.9B 1.7B 189.2M 9.4M
HAWAII 183.5M 165.2M 18.3M 918,000
IDAHO 195.8M 176.3M 19.5M 979,500
ILLINOIS 2.2B 2B 225M 11.2M
INDIANA 888M 799M 88.8M 4.4M
IOWA 344.8M 310.3M 34.4M 1.7M
KANSAS 369.8M 332.8M 36.9M 1.8M
KENTUCKY 928.2M 835.4M 92.8.M 4.6M
LOUISIANA 1.1B 1B 116M 5.8M
MAINE 183.1M 164.8M 18.3M 915,700
MARYLAND 868.7M 781.8M 86.8M 4.3M
MASSACHUSETTS 818.4M 733.4M 81.4M 4M
MICHIGAN 1.6B 1.5B 165.6M 8.2M
MINNESOTA 588M 529.3M 58.8M 2.9M
MISSISSIPPI 724.5M 652M 72.4M 3.6M
MISSOURI 871.1M 784M 87.1M 4.3M
MONTANA 170M 153M 17M 850,500
NEBRASKA 243M 218.M 17M 1.2M
NEVADA 477.3M 429.6M 47.7M 2.3M
NEW HAMPSHIRE 156M 140.4M 15.6M 780,300
NEW JERSEY 1.2B 1.1B 123M 6.2M
NEW MEXICO 435.9M 392.3M 43.5M 2.1M
NEW YORK 4B 3.6B 400.2M 20M
NORTH CAROLINA 1.6B 1.4B 160.2M 8M
NORTH DAKOTA 135.9M 122.3M 13.5M 13.6M
OHIO 1.9B 1.8B 199.1M 9.9M
OKLAHOMA 665M 598M 66.5M 3.3M
OREGON 499.1B 449.2B 49.5M 2.4M
PENNSYLVANIA 2.2B 2B 222.5M 11.1M
RHODE ISLAND 184.8M 166.3M 18.4M 924,000
SOUTH CAROLINA 940.4M 846.3M 94M 4.7M
SOUTH DAKOTA 170M 153M 17M 850,500
TENNESSEE 1.1B 996.8M 110.7M 5.5M
TEXAS 5.5B 4.9B 552.9M 27.6M
UTAH 274M 246.6M 27.4M 1.3M
VERMONT 126.9M 114.2M 12.7M 634,900
VIRGINIA 939.2M 845.3M 93.9M 4.7M
WASHINGTON 824.8M 742.3M 82.4M 4.1M
WEST VIRGINIA 339M 305.1M 33.9M 1.7M
WISCONSIN 686M 617.4M 68.6M 3.4M
WYOMING 135.2M 121.7M 13.5M 676,200

You can also view a summary by-state here. The U.S. Department of Education is now beginning to disperse these funds.

It’s worth noting that this $54.3 billion Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) is roughly 4 times what Congress approved for K-12 in the original CARES Act passed at the end of March 2020. This new round of funding aligns with the same goals as the original CARES Act. K-12 organizations can use CRSSA funds to:

  • Provide resources that principals need to address coronavirus at their schools and support district efforts to improve preparedness
  • Target assistance to address needs of students living in poverty, learning English, experiencing homelessness, dealing with disabilities or living in foster care
  • Educate staff on the best ways to sanitize school facilities and properly use personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Buy PPE and supplies needed to clean/sanitize school buildings
  • Develop plans for for school closures
  • Purchase hardware and software needed to conduct remote and hybrid learning
  • Offer services to support student mental health
  • Address student learning loss, including support for afterschool and summer learning programs
  • Renovate, repair and improve school facilities, especially ventilation systems

CRSSA also includes $7 billion to expand broadband access across the country. Districts may want to explore how that funding will be distributed in your state. 

Summary of COVID-19 relief

CARES Act

March 2020

CRSS Act

December 2020

American Rescue Plan

Proposed 2021

K-12 $13.2 billion $54 billion $130 billion
Higher Ed $14 billion $22 billion $35 billion
Governors’ Discretion $3 billion $4 billion $5 billion
Total $30 billion $82 billion $170 billion

Biden administration proposes more help for schools

The Biden administration is proposing a further round of funding as part of its $1.9 trillion stimulus package, the American Rescue Plan. If passed, this plan would allocate an additional $130 billion for K-12 education, as well as funding to support state and local governments, which is a major source of education funding. The combined stimulus packages would bring almost $200 billion in funding to support K-12 education during the pandemic. A primary focus of this new funding is to help schools safely re-open for in-person instruction. While the details of the plan are still be discussed in Congress, the emerging plan calls for:

  • $60 billion to prevent layoffs of existing staff, and 
  • $50 billion for the equipment and barriers need to support proper physical distancing in schools.

Currently, about 20 percent of new funds would be targeted to address learning loss. Follow this link to see a breakdown of what’s being proposed for K-12 education under the American Rescue Plan.

The Biden administration is pressing to have this new round of stimulus funding passed and signed into law by early March. The most likely path is for Senate and House Democrats to use a budgetary reconciliation process that requires only simple majorities for passage. Amplified IT will update this blog post as details emerge. Subscribe to our blog to get updates directly in your inbox.

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  • Mike Mitchell
    Head of Sales

  • About the Author:

    Mike lives in Brooklyn, NY, and serves as the Head of Sales for Amplified IT. Mike began his career as a Grade 2 teacher and has many years of experience in the K-12 educational technology industry. Previously, he has worked at IBM, Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, Edmodo, Newsela, Winsor Learning, and Spotify. Mike has served in a variety of sales, marketing, and product development roles. In his spare time, Mike loves to cook, travel, and create 3D and computer-based animation.