The U.S. House and Senate are expected to approve a $900 billion fiscal stimulus package today that will deliver critical pandemic aid to millions of Americans, including more than $54 billion in assistance to public schools nationwide. We estimate that Hawaii public schools’ share of those relief funds could be in the $200 million range, but we are still awaiting details. We hope this positive development will provide Hawaii schools the funding to avoid furloughs.
To fully understand the impacts this relief bill will have on Hawaii’s schools, we are moving our live stream Q&A session from today to Monday, Dec. 28, at 4 p.m. on our Facebook page and YouTube channel. You can ask your question live during the session or submit it directly to us here.
The congressional aid package expected to be approved today will also provide another round of direct payments to taxpayers, including many of our members. People making up to $75,000 a year will receive a payment of $600, while couples making up to $150,000 will receive $1,200, in addition to $600 per child. Treasury officials said Monday that the checks could go out as soon as next week.
Read an analysis of what this round of COVID-19 funding means for public schools.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s in the latest stimulus package, according to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz:
Provides at least an estimated $200 million for Hawai‘i schools, which can be used to support teacher salaries, including:
Extension of unemployment insurance to help those who have lost their jobs or are experiencing reduced incomes.
An estimated $200 million to help Hawai‘i residents who lost their job or saw a significant reduction in income due to the pandemic to make rent.
Provides $325 billion nationally for small businesses, including restaurants, hotels, live venues, and non-profits.
Provides nearly $32 billion nationally, including $4.5 billion directly to states and localities and an estimated $35 million to Hawai‘i, to help distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines.
Provides $22.4 billion nationally for testing and contact tracing, including at least $150 million in estimated funding to Hawai‘i. This funding will expand capacity for COVID-19 testing to effectively monitor and suppress COVID–19, conduct surveillance and contact tracing activities, and support other COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
Provides $3 billion nationally, including an estimated $5 million for Hawai‘i providers, to help health care providers through the Provider Relief Fund, extends relief from the Medicare sequester through March 2021, and increases payments under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for all services by 3.75 percent for 2021.
Includes more than $4 billion nationally for several mental health programs, including the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, and suicide prevention programs.
Provides a one-time cash payment to millions of Americans.More than $700 million is estimated to go to Hawai‘i residents.
$10 billion for grants for child care providers, including an estimated $25 million or more for Hawai‘i.
Provides $25 million nationally in grants to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) serving Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native, and other Native American communities across the country to help them withstand the economic impacts of the pandemic.
Provides at least $128 million in estimated funding for Hawai‘i to support transportation and airport services including:
Includes a one-year extension of the CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, providing state and county governments with more time to expend their allocations. The new deadline is December 31, 2021.
Provides at least $7 billion nationally to improve broadband infrastructure, expand access high-speed internet, including:
Provides $13 billion nationally for nutrition programs, including an increase of 15 percent in monthly SNAP benefits to ensure that all Americans receive the food they need. The bill also provides funding for food banks, food pantries, school meal programs, and other nutrition programs.
Provides $13 billion nationally to support agriculture, fisheries, and rural communities, including:
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