Federal Fiscal Relief and COVID-19: Implications for Californians
CA Update: April 3, 2020

California Budget & Policy Center

CARES Act Provides Funds to Address Potential Reductions to State K -12 Education Spending

To help shore up funding for K-12 education, the federal CARES Act establishes an Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund that will provide an estimated $1.7 billion grant to the California Department of Education (CDE). At least 90% of this grant will be allocated to local school districts, charter schools, and COEs based on the proportion of federal Title I, Part A funding they received in 2018-19. Local school districts may use the federal CARES grant for a wide range of activities including coordination of response efforts to the coronavirus, planning for long-term school closures, purchasing educational technology, and providing mental health services. The CDE may use up to 10% of the federal CARES grant for emergency needs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The CARES Act also provides the Governor of each state an Emergency Education Relief grant. California’s grant is estimated to be $355 million, which can be used to provide support for local K-12 school districts and institutes for higher education that have been most significantly impacted by the coronavirus as well as any education-related entity that the Governor deems essential for carrying out emergency educational services to students.

For more details on the CARES Act and Implications for California view the full report from the California Budget and Policy Center.