SamTastic Weekly Tip: March 15, 2021   This week’s tip: There is more good news for children and schools this week than ever before in your lifetime.  
Bold statement…but absolutely accurate.    President Biden’s American Rescue Plan decreases child poverty by more than 50%.  Funding is projected to reduce the share of children who fall below the federal poverty from 13.7% to 6.5%. Black and Hispanic children are likely to see the biggest declines in poverty.  This historic change will make a difference for nearly every child you know….but there’s even more in the American Rescue Plan act.  

The act includes $130 billion for K-12 education.  On average, this means $2,500 more for every student in your district.  The more kids in need in your school…the more money your school will receive.  For example, Los Angeles schools will be getting over $6,000 per student, according to an analysis by EdSource, while Chicago will receive about $5,200 per student.  Districts must use at least 20% of the money to address learning loss. Examples of this mentioned in the law include “summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year programs.  Other uses may include:   Cleaning supplies Education technology Mental health services Summer or after-school programs School building improvements that “reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards” Implementation of public health guidance “Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services … and continuing to employ existing staff.” “Activities to address the unique needs of low-income children or students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth.”  

Optimistic yet?  Believe it or not, there’s even more in the American Rescue Plan act that directly supports the kids you work with each day.  For a comprehensive look:   https://www.childrensdefense.org/blog/american-rescue-plan-act/     The end of the pandemic is in sight.  The number of Americans vaccinated is ahead of schedule. The 4th of July Independence Day may have a double meaning this year.  Hooray!