The Tennessee Department of Education has released a public survey seeking feedback from all stakeholders on the most effective ways to help school districts address immediate needs to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
H.R. 748, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security Act” (CARES Act) is federal legislation to provide $2 trillion in emergency relief in response to COVID-19 and includes $30.75 billion nationally for Education Stabilization Funding.
Tennessee school districts are eligible to receive one-time relief funding, once it becomes available, based on their Title I formula percentages. Each state will be required to submit a plan that the US Department of Education must approve in order to receive funding, and the federal application is expected to open mid-April. Due to this timeline, the deadline to complete the survey is Monday, April 13.
“For the past few weeks, we have been in frequent contact with superintendents and school leaders across the state, and there is no doubt that these one-time federal relief funds for education will be welcomed and critical,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn.
“The department is making every effort to position our state to get funding to districts as soon as possible. Our districts and educators are working hard to support students in this new distance format, and that is why I waived the 180 instructional days requirement this year following the passage of the General Assembly’s legislation last month. The department will remain laser focused on helping ensure districts have the resources they need to continue to serve the children of Tennessee.”
The survey questions are intended to help the Department understand local needs as well as potential investments and supports that could be offered to local school districts. That includes gaining insight and input from all stakeholders in order to draft a strong plan and application for the federal government.
The department’s efforts on the federal CARES Act is the next step in a series of state efforts to help schools and districts respond to the coronavirus pandemic and continue instruction and critical services that all students deserve.
Last month, the Tennessee General Assembly passed Public Chapter 652 to ensure no student, teacher, or school is adversely impacted by COVID-19 related school closures.