President Trump Signs Second Coronavirus Bill With Provisions on Paid Leave and Student Meals
The U.S. Senate passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) on Wednesday. The legislation was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last Friday. President Trump signed the bill into law on Wednesday.
This is the second supplemental appropriation related to the current pandemic. The legislation contains several provisions of interest to education leaders including:
• Emergency paid sick leave program, including for individuals unable to work because they are caring for a child who is home because of a virus-related school closing.
• Expansion of federal food assistance for families affected by a virus-related school closure of five or more days. The bill permits states to provide emergency food stamp assistance to families where a child would otherwise have been eligible to receive a free or reduced-price school meal.
• Expansion of school meals. Provides USDA new power to grant state waivers for federally subsidized school meals in the event of a school closure, including waivers to states that want to distribute food in different settings outside a school and allow flexibility on meal components.
You can find a summary of the legislation by accessing the House Appropriations Majority Committee Summary here.
We now expect Congress and the White House to begin work on a massive $1 trillion plus third supplemental emergency spending bill that could pass by the end of the week.
Although it is unclear which legislation the White House is targeting, the Administration, late yesterday, asked Congress to provide $150 million in emergency aid to the Department of Education. Of this amount, $100 million would be available to help schools respond to unforeseen COVID-19 related emergencies; $40 million would be available for student loan servicing costs; and $10 million would be set aside for the Department’s administrative costs to extend telework. We expect these targeted investments in education to be followed by other supplemental emergency funding.