House Democrats HEROES Act Update (5/15/20)

By Alison Maley posted 05-15-2020 11:56

Information from our colleagues at NASSP

Earlier this week House Democrats released the HEROES Act, their desired blueprint for the next federal coronavirus response package. They will be voting on the $3 trillion bill today (5/15/20). The bill is not likely to move in its current form in the Senate, and we should continue to advocate for education priorities that were not included or adequately funded in HEROES.

Overall, it provides $500 billion for states and $375 billion for localities to address lost revenue (which both can be used for education). Here are some of the highlights:

  • $90 billion for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund of which $58 billion is earmarked for K-12 education (NASSP request was $175 billion)
  • The “good”
    • Expands eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program to ALL 501c organizations
    • 1% set-aside that Secretary DeVos used for her micro-grant voucher program was removed
    • Equitable services provision for private schools was limited to only students eligible for Title I services
    • Language was added limiting the Secretary’s authority to add priorities or other limits on the funding
    • Above-the-line tax deduction for teachers & school leaders to pay for out-of-pocket classrooms expenses or PD was increased from $250 to $500
  • The “bad”
    • $1.5 billion for E-Rate to address the homework gap (NASSP request was $4 billion)
      • This E-Rate figure was disappointing, but we will continue to advocate that the Senate include the $4 billion number reflected in Senator Markey’s E-Rate legislation in the next package that the upper chamber decides to move forward with.
    • Includes language that in their application for the funding, states must assure that all students with disabilities are afforded their full rights under IDEA, including all rights and services outlined in IEPs
      • None of our IDEA flexibility requests were included in the bill

  Here is a HEROES summary information in a helpful one-pager from the Alliance for Excellent Education. HEROES_Act_Summary_5_12_20.pdf