Courtney Announces more than $59 Million in Emergency Relief Funding for Eastern Connecticut Schools Following Passage of H.R. 133
NORWICH, CT—Today, Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02) announced more than $59 million in federal funding to provide continued support to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) program in eastern Connecticut. The new round of emergency funding was authorized by the bipartisan Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 133). Courtney voted to pass H.R. 133 on December 21st, 2020, and the bill was signed into law on December 27th.
Today’s announcement comes following the enactment of Rep. Courtney’s bill to protect federal Impact Aid funding amid the pandemic for public schools that serve high numbers of schoolchildren from military and tribal families—the Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act (H.R. 8075). In Groton and Ledyard alone, public schools support the education of nearly 2,000 schoolchildren from such families, and they rely on federal Educational Impact Aid funding. Last Friday, Courtney presented Groton and Ledyard Public Schools with official copies of H.R. 8075.
“2020 was a tough year for K-12 public education. In school districts like Groton and Ledyard, where even in normal years they depend on federal funding sources like Impact Aid to support the education of schoolchildren from military and Tribal Nations families, the concern was particularly dire,” said Rep. Courtney. “Last Friday, we closed the chapter on one important effort to support our local schools when we presented Groton and Ledyard public schools with official copies of the Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act—a bipartisan bill I was proud to lead, and that will help support schoolchildren from military and Tribal Nations families in eastern Connecticut. Today is marks another important round of support. H.R. 133 was a bipartisan effort, and it was needed to get resources out the door to the folks who needed them most. There’s more work ahead, but good to know that our local public schools will see their toolboxes re-supplied with more than $59 million in support.”
The ESSER program was originally authorized by the bipartisan CARES Act to provide local educational agencies with emergency relief funds to address the impact of COVID-19. The new round of support allocates $59,076,793 in ESSER funding for elementary and secondary schools in Connecticut’s 2nd Congressional District. H.R. 133 also allocated an additional $12,000,673 to the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System.
Last Friday, Courtney presented official copies of the Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act to Groton Public Schools Superintendent Susan Austin, and to Ledyard Public Schools Superintendent Jason Hartling
Courtney introduced H.R. 8075 in August 2020 after hearing from the Superintendents of Groton and Ledyard Public Schools about their concern that their schools wouldn’t be able to receive as much federal Impact Aid funding as they deserved amid the complexity of the pandemic. H.R. 8075 protects Impact Aid funding for schools across the country by requiring the Department of Education to use 2019 calculations to determine funding amounts for local school districts. The House passed Courtney’s bill by unanimous consent in October, and the Senate followed in November.
Courtney’s bill was signed into law on December 7, 2020. Of the more than 14,000 bills introduced to the House and Senate throughout the 116th Congress, Rep. Courtney’s bill became just one of 344 to be made law.