Legislative Update: New Stimulus Introduced and Grant Opportunity Announced

This week, the House introduced a new COVID-19 (Coronavirus) stimulus package. Read below to learn more about what is in this bill, as well as a new grant opportunity. 

House Introduces New Stimulus Package in Response to the Coronavirus 

On Tuesday, House Democrats introduced a new stimulus package in response to the Coronavirus- the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R. 6800). The $3 trillion relief bill encompasses a large scope of activities, such as funding to state and local governments, small business assistance and funding for Coronavirus research. 

The HEROES Act also includes $90 billion for an education stabilization fund that would go to K-12 and public institutions of higher education. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) is one of the allowable uses of funds. Approximately $58 billion from the education stabilization fund would be allocated to K-12 education, with approximately $27 billion going to public postsecondary. An additional $10.15 billion is also in the HEROES Act for higher education- this funding can go to all institutions of higher education, and allocates $1.7 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions.   

This bill includes some of the Career Technical Education (CTE) provisions that were in the previously introduced Relaunching America’s Workforce Act (RAWA)- which Advance CTE supports. Specifically, the HEROES Act offers the flexibility at the state and local levels for retention of funds for the 2019-2020 academic year and the flexibility for local Perkins recipients to pool funds, as well as waives some of the professional development requirements during Coronavirus- that were all proposed in RAWA. 

However, Advance CTE was disappointed to find that the $1 billion for CTE-specific programs was left out of the HEROES Act. Advance CTE, in partnership with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee leadership detailing the importance of including CTE-specific funding and expressing concern that this was not included in the HEROES Act. We encourage you to let your representative know that you support including the full RAWA CTE related pieces in the next Coronavirus relief bill by following the quick prompt here

The House is expected to vote on the bill later this afternoon. The full bill text can be found here, a summary here and the manager’s amendment here

ED Announces New Grant Opportunity Through Student Support and Academic Enrichment

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Supportive Schools (OSSS) recently released a new opportunity to apply for the Expanding Course Access Demonstration Grants Program. This program will provide grants to state education agencies (SEAs) to provide models of well-rounded educational opportunities through course-access programs. The grant program is created with funding though the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)- specifically Title IV Part A that authorized the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants program (SSAE). The SSAE grant program is used to support well-rounded educational opportunities- which includes CTE. 

Grant applications must be submitted by June 26, 2020. OSSS, in collaboration with the Title IV, Part A Technical Assistance Center, will be holding a webinar on May 20, 2020 from 2:00-3:00pm ET for those considering applying. You can register for the webinar here. The webinar will be recorded and available for public view here

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

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