Education Policy & Funding
Feds to Help Fund Schools Penalized for Mask Bans
School districts whose funds are being withheld by their states
for implementing mask bans (or for other measures taken to prevent
the spread of coronavirus) will see some relief from the federal
government. A new grant program, announced Sept. 9 by the United
States Department of Education (ED), is expected to open in the
According to ED: "The new grant program, Project SAFE
(Supporting America's Families and Educators), anticipates using
funding within the Department of Education from Title IV, Part F,
School Safety National Activities, of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Local school districts would be able to apply for Project SAFE grants
that will allow them to restore funding withheld by state leaders —
such as for school board members or superintendents who have had
their pay cut—when a school district implemented strategies to
prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools. This funding will help
districts improve student safety and well-being by advancing
strategies to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in schools."
Applications are not yet open. According to ED, a notice inviting
applications is expected to be posted in the coming weeks, with plans
"to make grant awards as expeditiously as possible and on an
ED said the grants will be made directly to local education
agencies rather than state departments of education.