Coronavirus Relief Could Include Parent Vouchers for Remote Learning
For parents in need of financial aid for remote learning, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is hoping to get money directly in their hands.
As part of the $13.5 billion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for schools, DeVos is setting aside $180 million to create voucher-like grants for parents. According to Chalkbeat, her “priorities include directing more public education dollars to families, rather than school districts, and creating alternatives to traditional schools and instruction.”
“The current disruption to the normal model is reaffirming something I have said for years: we must rethink education to better match the realities of the 21st century,” DeVos said in a statement. “This is the time for local education leaders to unleash their creativity and ingenuity.”
For parents to receive the money, however, state agencies must first apply for the financial aid, which is intended to go to the states hardest hit by COVID-19. Those agencies must propose one of three things:
1) Microgrants (vouchers) to help parents pay for things like summer programs, tuition to a private or public school online program, counseling, and textbooks.
2) A statewide virtual school to allow students to access classes that their regular school doesn’t offer.
3) A new method “not yet imagined” for providing remote education.
Based on proposals, the Education Department plans to award grants anywhere from $5-20 million.