WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Trump signed into law on Friday the $2 trillion Coronavirus relief bill, which was created to mitigate the economic damage wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and includes funds for education, CNBC reports.
As School Bus Fleet previously reported, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes a provision designed to help pupil transporters. The legislation cleared the Senate by a 96-0 vote early Thursday morning and sent it to the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed it on Friday morning and sent it to the president for signature.
The bill provides $30.75 billion for an "Education Stabilization Fund" for states, school districts, and institutions of higher education for costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of that, $13.5 billion is allocated for elementary and secondary education schools, distributed through states.
Of note in the provision is a condition on receipt of the funding: “A local educational agency, state, institution of higher education, or other entity that receives funds under ‘Education Stabilization Fund,’ shall to the greatest extent practicable, continue to pay its employees and contractors during the period of any disruptions or closures related to Coronavirus.” [Section 18006]
At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, NSTA vigorously pursued support for the student transportation industry by asking U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and 50 state governors to immediately require school districts to fund pupil transportation contracts through the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic.