After Republican attempts to halt negotiations and push through an inadequate, partisan package, Senator Murray secures crucial funding for education in Senate relief package

Bill provides more than $200 million for Washington’s Public Schools

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), senior member of the Senate appropriations committee, secured more than $30 billion in funding to help schools and students in the Senate coronavirus relief package. The funding, which will go to Governors, school districts, and institutions of higher education through the Education Stabilization Fund, will help ensure schools and institutions of higher education prepare for, respond to and recover from the coronavirus outbreak.  

"This incredibly difficult and uncertain time is placing unprecedented stress on children, students, families, and educators across the country who desperately need our help right now. Families are depending on their schools not only to continue their education, but to continue providing children with nutritious meals and meet other basic needs. And right now, too many college students are left struggling to find housing, meals, emergency financial aid, and more.  I’m glad this relief  will help schools continue to provide services as they get back up and running as soon as possible. But as the crisis continues, more work must be done and I’ll keep fighting to ensure all students, families and educators get the relief they need,” said Senator Murray.

“Passing this bill was step one. Now we need to hold this Administration accountable to implementing this bill with the urgency, consistency and equity it requires—and continue to talk with our local and state officials on the ground to make sure they have the resources they need as we continue to combat this crisis,” Senator Murray added.

With most elementary and secondary schools closed across the nation, states and school districts are facing increased costs as they deal with the safety and health issues related to coronavirus. At the same time, they must continue to help address the basic needs of students and develop plans for providing online learning for all students, including students with disabilities, English language learners and students experiencing homelessness. In addition, college students facing closed campuses and the transition to distance education are dealing with increased costs and challenges meeting basic needs like housing and food.

These flexible funds will be available to help address these needs. Funds include:

  • $13.5 billion will be awarded to states for elementary and secondary education, with 90 percent of this additional funding given to school districts to use the money for a variety of purposes to respond to the outbreak, including helping K-12 schools provide meals for students that need them, improving access to technology for students who need it, providing after school care for parents on the front lines of this crisis and providing resources to support mental health needs.
  • $14.25 billion will be available for higher education emergency relief to deliver emergency financial aid to struggling college students, provide funding for meals and housing for students that need them; ensure access to technology and course materials, and support child care for student parents.
  • $3 billion will go to state governors to provide emergency support to local education agencies and institutions of higher education most significantly impacted by coronavirus.