Federal COVID-19 funding to help Virginia private schools
Eligible Virginia private schools are being invited to apply for funding from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act approved by Congress in December.
The CRRSA Act includes $2.75 billion in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funding for the Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools program, and Virginia received an allocation of $46.6 million.
Private schools do not receive direct awards or allocations under the EANS program. Rather, state education departments use EANS funds to procure services and assistance requested by eligible schools in their applications.
According to the Virginia Council on Private Education, there are 488 accredited K-12 private schools in the Commonwealth serving approximately 112,000 students. In Virginia, eligible non-public schools are K-12 private schools with state-recognized accreditation through the VCPE and private schools that certify compliance with the state laws that apply to schools accredited through VCPE.
The CRRSA Act requires state education departments to prioritize applications based on enrollment of low-income students and the severity of the impact of the pandemic on the school.
In total, Virginia will receive approximately $993 million in funding for PreK-12 education from the CRRSA Act, with $946 million benefitting Virginia’s PreK-12 public schools. $845 million of those funds are currently available to Virginia’s 132 public school divisions, with $101 million set aside for statewide education initiatives such as enhancing student literacy, providing extended year learning opportunities, and increasing digital instruction tools for educators.
“All of our students and educators have endured tremendous educational disruptions over the past year,” Gov. Ralph Northam said. “These funds will help our private schools address pandemic-related operating costs and ensure they can continue to meet the individual needs of their students during this challenging time and as we move forward.”
The American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law by President Biden in March, includes $122 billion to support the recovery efforts of K-12 schools nationwide. Ninety percent of the funding will go directly to local school districts based on the formula for distributing federal Title I funds.
Ten percent of the funding will support state-level efforts to help schools recover from the pandemic. Virginia will receive $2.1 billion, with $1.9 billion going directly to school divisions, and approximately $200 million reserved to support state-level K-12 recovery initiatives.
“This EANS program funding will support Virginia’s private K-12 schools as they support educators and continue to provide high-quality instruction to their students,” Secretary of Education Atif Qarni said. “The federal CRRSA Act has delivered critical resources to Virginia’s education system, and these funds specifically dedicated to K-12 private schools will go far to lift schools up as they work to address learning loss.”
“Virginia’s private schools sincerely thank Gov. Northam for recognizing the impact COVID-19 has had on all school-aged children, including the approximately 11 percent of Virginia’s students who attend private schools, by applying for this federal funding,” VCPE Executive Director Grace Turner Creasey said. “The EANS program funding mechanism sends necessary assistance to private schools as they continue to ensure the health, safety and wellness of students during this global pandemic.”
Approved services and assistance for non-public schools under the CRRSA Act include, but are not limited to:
- Supplies to sanitize, disinfect and clean school facilities.
- Personal protective equipment.
- Improving ventilation systems, including windows or portable air purification systems.
- Training and professional development for staff on sanitization, the use of personal protective equipment and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
- Physical barriers to facilitate social distancing.
- Other materials, supplies, or equipment recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain health and safety.
- Educational technology to assist students, educators, and other staff with remote or hybrid learning.
“I want to thank Gov. Northam for applying for Virginia’s EANS allocation, which will allow the Virginia Department of Education to assist the Commonwealth’s non-public schools by securing services, supplies and assistance,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. James Lane said. “These resources will help keep their students and teachers healthy and safe, and help private schools recover from the impacts of the pandemic.”
Eligible private schools must submit a completed application to the Virginia Department of Education by April 26. The application form and additional information on the EANS program are available here.