Education Spending in Congressional Covid Plans

screen-shot-2021-08-10-at-12-54-52-pm For a full account of Congressional Covid-19 aid, read our explainer. Beyond the dollars for stabilizing education budgets, the Congressional spending plans include money for other education priorities. Here are some examples:

AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN (Signed into law)

  • $40 billion in support for early care and education, through a $24 billion child care stabilization fund, $1 billion for Head Start, and an additional $15 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
  • $7.2 billion for the E-rate program, which provides home internet access and connected devices
  • $5 billion to extend the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program throughout the school year and summer, giving students uninterrupted access to meals during the pandemic.
  • $1 billion to expand national service programs to support response and recovery
  • $800 million for education and wraparound services to support homeless children
  • $100 million for the federal Institute of Education Sciences to research Covid-19’s impact on learning


  • $2.75 billion for parochial and private schools
  • $7 billion for expanding broadband access
  • $10 billion for child care assistance

CARES ACT (Signed into law)

  • $4 billion for expanding broadband access
  • $180 million “Rethink K-12 School Models” competitive grant program to help states focus on virtual learning and new models of delivering education
  • $100 million in grants under Project SERV to help recover from “a violent or traumatic event that disrupts learning.

HEROES ACT (Passed the House)

  • $10 billion in emergency funding for higher education institutions, including $1.7 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority Serving Institutions.
  • $4 billion for career, technical, adult education, and training to help students gain the education and skills they need to join the workforce.
  • $100 million for Project AWARE grants to support student mental health.


  • $12.9 billion for low-income, homeless migrant, and English language learners, most of it channeled through Title I.
  • $12 billion for IDEA program for students with disabilities in K-12 and early childhood programs.
  • $4 billion for the E-Rate Program to provide technology and internet access to students in need.

SENATE REPUBLICAN BILL (Failed in a Senate vote)

  • Two-thirds of the K-12 dollars would be distributed based on the extent to which schools, public and private, provide in-person instruction.
  • 10 percent of K-12 dollars, or about $7 billion, would go to private schools
  • $65 million for the Institute of Education Sciences to implement the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

REVISED HEROES ACT (Passed the House)

  • $5 billion in grants for K-12 facility renovations with a focus on improving ventilation systems.
  • $11.9 billion to alleviate burdens associated with the coronavirus for colleges and students, including $3.5 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions, and $7 billion for private, not-for-profit institutions
  • $2 billion for the outlying areas and Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
Graphic by Brooke LePage