Watchdog says $736 million in COVID aid funds failed to succeed in nonpublic faculties

Over $736 million in federal coronavirus aid funds earmarked for nonpublic faculties weren’t supplied to their supposed recipients in 27 states, a brand new report from a authorities watchdog group discovered.

The report from the Nationwide Alternative Undertaking particulars the extent to which quite a few states went to dam the allocation of Emergency Help to Personal Colleges funds to colleges that in any other case have been eligible.


“Authorities mismanagement at federal and state ranges in the end stored certified faculties from accessing funds designated for them by Congress,” the report’s writer and NOP senior coverage analyst Jessica Hockett wrote. “The sensible implication of this drawback is that faculties have been unable to make use of the assets supposed for them to deal with educational and psychological well being wants nonetheless accumulating because of the authorities’s dealing with of COVID.”

The funds within the Emergency Help to Personal Colleges program have been speculated to assist nonpublic faculties that have been adversely affected by lockdowns within the early days of the pandemic, very similar to the Elementary and Secondary College Emergency Reduction Fund that supported public faculty districts.

The report says {that a} mixed $736 million in funds dispersed to 27 states didn’t fund the faculties they have been speculated to. The trigger for the shortage of disbursement was linked to numerous causes, together with poor authorities oversight, limiting permitted bills, and governors benefiting from a “reversion clause” that allowed states to spend unallocated funds for “any instructional function.”

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In response to the report, $157 million in funds have been in the end disbursed below the reversion clause and have been spent on a variety of education-related tasks, together with on public faculties.

In Alaska, $1.2 million in funds have been spent on a Minecraft coding program, in the meantime Georgia and Colorado spent a mixed $39 million on public faculty grants. South Carolina allotted $25 million to a group school workforce program, and Kansas spent $6 million on free admission to zoos and museums for college kids and households.

“Mother and father, activists, and college leaders ought to advocate for this federal funding for use to deal with Covid-related studying loss in nonpublic faculties by eradicating misguided standards that prevented some faculties from being eligible and by broadening allowable bills to the fullest extent doable,” the report says. “College students and academics in any respect U.S. faculties — together with non-public, impartial, and parochial — have been drastically impacted by the Covid response. Exposing the issues with the EANS program’s design and purposes will assist make sure that college students obtain the assistance they have been promised.”

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