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American Rescue Plan: How will the funds flow? What do I need to do?

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American Rescue Plan: How will the funds flow? What do I need to do?

The American Rescue Plan provides $500 billion that can be used in part to support young people during the hours they are out of school. Funds specifically available for afterschool and summer programs in the Plan include: 

  • $8.45B available from SEAs, including: 
    • $1.22B set-aside for summer enrichment
    • $1.22B set-aside for afterschool programs
    • 5%, approximately, $6.1B, for learning recovery (afterschool/summer/ELT)
  • $22B provided to LEAs for learning recovery strategies, including afterschool and summer enrichment
  • $39 billion for child care, which can include school-age care, which will flow to state child care agencies 
  • $1 billion for Corporation for National and Community Service through  AmeriCorps for AmeriCorps positions to help address learning recovery and other purposes
  • $350 billion for state and local governments that can be used in part for child care and other purposes

Funding from the bill can be spent until September 2023. (See our blog for a breakdown of the funding amounts). While the details have yet to be worked out on how these funds will flow to states, communities, and schools, there will be opportunities for afterschool and summer program providers of all kinds - including non-school, community based organizations - to access the funding. 

Who will control the funds? 

The federal government will disburse funds to the states within a few weeks. The federal Dept. of Education and Dept. of Health and Human Services will develop direction and guidance for state education and human service agencies on how to distribute the funds. Once funds arrive at the state level, likely by early April, state education and human service agencies will make the decision on how to distribute funds. 

Here’s a quick take on what we expect in terms of disbursement of the funds, and what you can do. 

 1. $21.9B for learning recovery to local education agencies/school districts. States will need to disperse funds to your local education agencies within 60 days. Each district will be required to use 20% of the new funds they receive on learning recovery strategies that may include afterschool/summer/ELT. Start mapping out what you can offer school districts, and prepare for your outreach to local education leaders. (See tips below) 

 2. $39 billion for child care will flow to state child care agencies for dispersal – this will include school age care. State human service or child care agencies will determine how the funds are dispersed. Reach out to state child care agencies to learn what their plans are for these funds.  A portion of funds will flow through Child Care Development Block Grants while a majority of funds in each state for child care will be dispersed as child care provider stabilization grants.  

3. $8.45 billion in funding to state education agencies (SEAs). Each state will do that dispersal process differently and soon it will be important to advocate for an efficient dispersal of these funds. Reach out to SEAs and/or your statewide afterschool network to find out how the state funds for afterschool ($1 billion), summer ($1 billion) and learning recovery funds (includes afterschool and summer - $6 billion) will be used. The process will be different depending on the state and SEAs likely do not yet know how they will do this. There will likely be a grant competition for those funds at the state level either run by the SEA or in some cases the SEA may give funds to a third party organization to conduct a grant competition. Some SEAs may opt to channel the funds through 21st CCLC grantees.

4. Counties and state governments will receive $350 billion in funds to spend. Reach out to county government officials to ask if there are plans to spend their allotment of funds in part on afterschool, youth programs, summer learning, or child care. (This was a common practice with funding from the previous relief bill known as CARES Act last summer.)

How do I prepare?

Just because funding can be spent on afterschool and summer programs, does not mean it will.  Programs will need to reach out to local education leaders - school boards, superintendents, and principals - to share what you can offer students to support learning recovery. 

  • Think about what you can offer 
    • Who can you serve/where and how many students?
    • How would your program support students’ recovery? 
    • How are you operating? How are you proposing to operate?
    • What is the cost? 
  • Gather info to make your case. Consider: 
  • Reach out to school districts and local government to share what you can offer, and why it’s so important for students’ recovery. 
    • Template letter providers and advocates can send local education leaders to explain how afterschool and summer programs help address learning loss and support students with academic, social and emotional resources.
    • Talking points to help you prepare for meetings and/or use in follow-up emails. 

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American Rescue Plan funds one year later: Support for afterschool, summer learning

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Afterschool programs supported through Congressional Community Project Funding

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Governors across the country signal support for afterschool in state budget requests

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BY: Chris Neitzey      02/11/22

Secretary of Education Cardona discusses his priorities, emphasizes student engagement

In late January, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona gave a major address at the Department of Education, laying out his vision for improving the American education system. He largely focused on continued recovery through the pandemic and the need for broader investments in education to...

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State child care stabilization grants open with many afterschool programs eligible

As the afterschool field continues to navigate the American Rescue Plan (ARP) opportunities for K-12 funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) at the state and local level, ARP also designated $24 billion in child care funding to states to help stabilize the...

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Senate Democrats LHHS bill proposes $50 million increase to 21st CCLC as FY2022 Appropriations process continues

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ARP Webinar Series Recap: How to access ARP funds for afterschool and summer

The Afterschool Alliance hosted a webinar series to help programs understand how billions of dollars provided by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) can be used to support afterschool and summer programs. While funds go directly to education and child care agencies, programs are specifically mentioned...

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