CARES Act Emergency Education Assistance

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On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the CARES Act, which is a $2 trillion package of assistance measures, The bipartisan legislation contains significant new resources to help states with much-need relief during the COVID-19 crisis.


The CARES Act creates an Educational Stabilization Fund to support K-12 schools and colleges and universities during the COVID-19 national emergency. The Educational Stabilization Fund includes a total of roughly $30 billion in relief divided into three separate pools: 


$13.2 Billion for K-12 schools: This amount will be distributed to states which will then pass it along to school districts. Each state’s allocation will be based on its share of funding under Title I, the federal government’s primary funding program for high-poverty schools.

$14 Billion for higher education: Some 90 percent of this amount will be distributed directly to public and private colleges and universities based primarily on their share of Pell Grant recipients. Another 7.5 percent will go to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other institutions primarily serving students of color. The Secretary of Education will distribute the remaining 2.5 percent to those institutions the Secretary determines have been particularly harmed by the virus and economic downturn.

$3 Billion in emergency relief that governors may use to distribute to the schools, colleges, and universities that the virus and downturn have particularly affected: 60 percent of it distributed to states based on their share of the national school-aged population (those aged 5-24), and the remaining 40 percent based on each state’s share of Title I students.


The amounts each state will receive vary significantly, based largely on the share of Title I and Pell Grant students that attend school in each state.The Department is currently working to ensure that the legislation is followed and that states, schools, and institutes of higher education receive support in response to COVID-19.  Colleges and universities are eligible for funding under the latter two pools.


It is estimated that New Jersey’s share will be approximately $379 million dollars in federal support for education: 


$310 million in funding to support New Jersey’s K-12 education ​that can be used for a variety of purposes, including to help educators and students in local school districts transition to online and remote learning.


$69 million in funding to New Jersey through a Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy can use to provide support to school districts and institutions of higher education hardest hit by COVID-19.


We are hearing May as the likeliest time frame for when districts should receive these funds. Your NJPSA Government Relations team will be sure to pass along more information as soon as we receive it.