All together, $17.9 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funding intended for Texas schools has yet to be delivered to them. We need state leaders to send these funds directly to school districts immediately.
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Nearly $18 billion from two rounds of federal funding for our schools is in limbo as state leaders dither — and look for ways to repurpose those funds as they did with the first round of federal relief dollars.
Send a Letter: We need our state leaders to commit to sending federal dollars for schools directly to schools. Last spring, they scammed us by swapping federal relief money for planned state funding, so our schools didn’t see an extra dime.
Latest Funding News
- TEA releases remaining federal relief dollars to school districts — with a catch
- State leadership finally releases federal funds to schools
- Announcement on federal funds to schools spurred by action from educators, legislators
- Texas AFT Twitter storm helps push #StopTheSwap amendment to passage
- Release the money to schools now!
Where’s Our Money?
When President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law in March, the trillion-dollar COVID-19 relief package included an estimated $12.4 billion for Texas K-12 schools.
Our neighborhood schools are still waiting for that money, even as they struggle to implement safety measures on campuses, safeguard jobs and benefits, and help students, employees, and communities recover from this pandemic.
Why are they still waiting? Because state leaders would rather balance their other budget priorities rather than address a crisis affecting our children — just like they’ve done before.
In April, Texas AFT President Zeph Capo discussed the urgent need for state leaders and the Texas Legislature to release the nearly $18 billion in federal funding for schools, directly to schools.
Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
That $12.4 billion isn’t the only money waiting to be allocated by state leaders. Last year, Texas received two rounds of stimulus funding:
- The first round of $1.3 billion in the spring of 2020 never made its way to schools. Instead, state leaders swapped it in for planned state funding. So our schools didn’t get an extra dollar from the funding intended for their relief.
- A second round of federal funding in 2020 included $5.5 billion for Texas schools. Unlike 40 other states, Texas has yet to distribute those dollars to school districts.
When you use someone else’s money to pay your old debts, it’s called a Ponzi scheme. That’s the scam that happened with the first $1.3 billion in relief money last year, and it’s the scam that could happen again if we don’t raise our voices.
We need state leaders — with Gov. Greg Abbott and his appointed education commission in the driver’s seat — to commit to sending all $17.9 billion in federal aid directly to Texas schools, with no funny business and no swapping like the first round of stimulus funding. We need to stop the swap.