American Rescue Plan Distributes $830 million for educational funding in Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – The U.S. Department of Education announced the approval of Tennessee’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief plan. 

830 million dollars from the American Rescue Plan will go toward education.

It will be used to safely reopen schools, provide safety and help with new opportunities for students — particularly those who were most impacted by the pandemic.

Tennessee’s plan details how the state plans to use the funds to safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools. 

The funds will also address social, emotional, mental and academic needs of students with a focus on students most impacted by the pandemic such as: the academic impact of lost instruction time and investing in summer learning and expanded after school programs. 

 “Things Tennessee has prioritized in order to support students including addressing the existing gaps in opportunity that existed before the pandemic and then were made even worse during the pandemic for groups of students and improving early literacy,” says Ian Rosenblum, Acting Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education.

While these hundreds of millions of dollars are new – the funding really isn’t. Earlier this year $81 billion from this same fund was dispersed to the states.

“The American rescue plan provided $2.5 billion in K-12 funding for Tennessee. We provided, almost immediately after the president signed the American Rescue Plan into law, the first two thirds of those funds to states. So they could make critical investments immediately. Once a state submitted their plan for how they would use all the funds and the plan was approved, then we would release the final one third,” says Rosenblum.

The distribution of the funds is part of the Department’s broader effort to support students and districts as they work to re-engage students impacted by the pandemic and rebuild our education system- even better than it was before.

The United States Department of Education says so far a total of 40 states have sent their plans to them and are currently being reviewed. But Tennessee’s plans have been approved and the money has been distributed

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