About the CARES Act

What Is the CARES Act?

Education funding, unemployment benefit and student loan relief are among the provisions in the new $2 trillion federal law.

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The Three Components of the CARES Act Education Stabilization Fund:
  1. Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund ($51 million to Massachusetts)
    Funds can be used for both K-12 and higher education.
  2. Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund ($215 million to Massachusetts)
    Funds are allocated among districts and charter schools in the same proportion as the allocation of Title I, part A funds among districts and charter schools in FY20.
  3. Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (estimated $256 - $275 million to Massachusetts)
    Funds are allocated among institutions of higher education (both public and private) based primarily on the institution’s share of Pell Grant recipients and secondarily on the number of Pell Grant non-recipients.
    At least 50 percent of the funds awarded to institutions must be used to provide direct emergency aid to students.
  4. For additional information on these three components, the National Education Association has prepared a general list of allowable uses of the funds.

    • Education Stabilization Fund dollars are available for use until September 30, 2021,( which is the last day of federal fiscal year 2021 and  the last day of the first quarter of Massachusetts Fiscal Year 2022.) The exception is funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, which are available until September 30, 2022.
    • In addition to the Education Stabilization Fund, dollars from the CARES Act Corona Virus Relief Fund — $2.7 billion to Massachusetts – may be available for local governments with populations over 500,000 – i.e., Boston and counties – which in turn may be made available to some school districts. No data for this program are shown here.
    • The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund include a “maintenance of effort” requirement: i.e., the funds are intended to supplement, not supplant, recent state support for K-12 and higher education. However, states that have experienced “a precipitous decline in financial resources” may apply to the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for a waiver from this requirement. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund does not include such a requirement.
    The Data: More Specifics About Allocation by School District and by Campus