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American Rescue Plan Got Kids Back in the Classroom Safely; Is Helping Students Catch Up

Over 99% of school districts have safely returned to in-person instruction thanks to American Rescue Plan’s $122 billion investment in our nation’s K-12 public schools & $3 billion for students with disabilities


Every state must use funds to address students’ learning loss


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, ahead of the one year anniversary since President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the ways the law’s $122 billion in K-12 funding and $3 billion for IDEA programs have helped students get back into the classroom safely and is helping students recover academically and emotionally.


“One year ago, fewer than half of all schools were able to open safely for in-person learning due to COVID-19—creating chaos for working families’ schedules, and keeping kids away from teachers, counselors, coaches, and friends. This didn’t just undermine kids’ learning—it caused real stress and anxiety for children, parents, and educators. That’s why Senate Democrats acted quickly to deliver schools support to reopen safely, stay open, and begin helping students catch back up and recover from the last two tough years. All without a single Republican vote.


“Today, over 99% of schools across the country are open, with kids safely in classrooms and the resources to remain open for in-person learning. And in every state across the country, the American Rescue Plan is helping communities and schools set up more after-school programs and summer learning programs, get kids counseling, improve ventilation, and hire more tutors, nurses, and teachers.


“Even with the important steps we’ve taken, there’s no question there’s more to do to help students and schools recover from one of the most difficult, disruptive times students, parents, and educators have faced in American history. Democrats are going to stay squarely focused on ensuring every child in our country can stay in school safely and get an excellent public education that prepares them to succeed in life.”


The American Rescue Plan provided more than $122 billion in funding to ensure K-12 schools could safely reopen for in-person learning, work to make up for lost instruction time and learning, and address students’ social, emotional, and mental health needs. Additionally, it provided more than $3 billion in funds to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) programs to meet the needs of students with disabilities in service delivery, assistive technology acquisition, and address learning loss. Thanks to the investments the law made, over 99% of all school districts nationwide are now conducting in-person instruction.