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Courtney Announces More Than $121 Million in New Federal Support for Eastern Connecticut K-12 School Districts Through the American Rescue Plan

May 10, 2021
Press Release

NORWICH, CT—Today, Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02) announced the official allocation of more than $121 million in American Rescue Plan funding that will provide continued support to eastern Connecticut schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) program. Rep. Courtney is a senior member of the House Education and Labor Committee, and worked with his colleagues to draft and authorize the provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319) that provided this new round of relief funding for local schools. Courtney voted to pass the American Rescue Plan on March 10, sending it to President Biden’s desk for signature. For a full list of local ESSER funding allocations to CT-02 schools through the American Rescue Plan, click here.

“The American Rescue Plan is continuing to fuel eastern Connecticut’s economic recovery, and it’s going to help our schools stay open and get kids back on track as we move ahead,” said Congressman Courtney. “Keeping our schools open and our teachers and kids safe is in the first row of priorities when it comes to getting life back to normal, and the American Rescue Plan is re-supplying our local public schools with more than $121 million in relief aid. These Rescue Plan dollars are going straight to our local schools, helping them offset last year’s totally unforeseen budget cuts so that they can afford the tools they need to keep kids, teachers and staff safe, and to start implementing programs to make up for lost learning. Last week’s jobs numbers were a wake-up call to a lot of armchair economic experts that even though our recovery is on the move, we’ve still got big challenges to overcome. That’s why we passed the American Rescue Plan, and it’s why we’ll continue to see the bill giving our schools, families, and small businesses a boost in eastern Connecticut.”

According to the final allocations released by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), eastern Connecticut K-12 school districts are set to receive $121.2 million in ESSER funding through the American Rescue Plan Act. The funding is distributed proportionally through the existing Title I Part A education aid formula, and eligible for use in helping schools take steps recommended by the CDC to ensure students and educators can both return to school, and keep schools open for classroom learning safely. Schools must reserve at least 20% of funding—a total of $24.3 million—to address learning loss. According to CSDE, the New London and Norwich School Districts will receive awards of $16.5 million, and $16.4 million, respectively. The Windham School District will receive $13.7 million, and the Enfield School District will receive $7.2 million. Click here for a full list of local funding allocations.

This new support comes in addition to the more than $59 million in federal ESSER funding for eastern Connecticut schools authorized by H.R. 133, which Courtney announced on February 1st. The ESSER program was originally authorized by the bipartisan CARES Act to provide local educational agencies (LEAs) with emergency relief funds to address the impact of COVID-19. In addition to $121.2 million in ESSER funding for elementary and secondary schools in CT-02, the American Rescue Plan also provides $28.5 million in new federal support to the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System.

Courtney has worked to support eastern Connecticut schools throughout the pandemic—his bill to protect federal Impact Aid for public schools, particularly those in Ledyard and Groton, was signed into law on December 7, 2020. Of the more than 14,000 bills introduced to the House and Senate throughout the previous 116th Congress, Courtney’s Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act was one of only 344 to be made law. In Groton and Ledyard alone, public schools support the education of nearly 2,000 schoolchildren from families that rely on federal Educational Impact Aid funding. Click here to read more.