During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government provided $190 billion of aid for public schools in the country. It is quite a sum, even though it seems large by most standards. However, when you consider federal spending on primary education this is shockingly significant: $190 billion. There are reasonsMatt Welch,’s spokesperson for the Biden Administration’s inept moves towards promoting school reopening in February explained that this is more than four times the amount of federal government’s push to promote K-12 education in the same period as pre-COVID.
Are the funds being used diligently for their intended purposes? It is not. A survey by ProPublica found, when examining some of the “provisional annual reports…by state education agencies” for about $3 billion worth of the aid from March to September of 2020, that “just over half of the $3 billion in aid was categorized as ‘other,’ providing no insight into how the funds were allocated.”
The last school year saw 15 states representing around 25% of the U.S. total population fail to attain 50 percent in-person effectiveness, which is the purpose of federal COVID funds.
ProPublica has reported that districts are spending federal aid funds for projects not in accordance with the program’s spirit, like bleachers and track facilities. This is happening despite the fact that “Under the terms laid out by the federal government, states are responsible for developing tracking systems to ensure districts are spending the money on countering the effects of the pandemic.”
ProPublica explains that there are no restrictions to how the federal aid can be spent by districts as long as they are not directly connected to pandemic effects. However, it also notes that different districts are reportedly diverting funds to sports, according to the Associated Press. Schools are required to use all funds by 2024. The Associated Press reports that although schools “are required to tell states how they’re spending the money…some schools are using local funding for sports projects and then replacing it with the federal relief—a maneuver that skirts reporting requirements.”
This is a historical precedent. ProPublica reported that after 2008’s financial crisis, $98 million was allocated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Fund to the Education Department. ProPublica further reports that this led to many investigations into misuse and waste.
Additional details available at ProPublicaYou can find this link:
• “some of the largest districts in the nation marked all of their aid as going to the ‘other’ category, including Los Angeles Unified, which spent $49.5 million, and New York City’s schools, which spent $111.5 million…New York City’s district…used its federal funds to plug a gap in its budget [and]The funds were used to pay the wages and operation of custodial staff.
•”In Texas, the McAllen Independent School District decided to spend $4 million of its education pandemic relief funds to construct a 5-acre outdoor learning environment connected to a local nature and birding center owned by the city.”
Public school enrollment may well plummet in the future. This flood of COVID money could possibly be one of Education Bureaucrats’ last major sprees. It is therefore not surprising that they plan to use it.