What Is the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools Program?

By: | 04/01/2021
Category: Leadership

Curriculum Associates’ Grants and Funding team is committed to helping educators make sense of the sudden rush of federal stimulus funding meant to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on American schools and address students’ learning needs. In this post, we’re focusing on federal funding for non-public schools through the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) Program.

What Is the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools Program?

In December 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, often referred to as Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act II.

This second authorization of the CARES Act includes additional funding for the Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER II) and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER II) fund. It also includes $2.75 billion for a new program, EANS, as part of GEER II.

EANS helps State Education Agencies (SEA) procure and provide services to eligible non-public schools to address the impact of the pandemic. Congress established EANS as a separate formula grant under GEER II, rather than relying on the equitable services requirements that usually apply to formula grant programs for elementary and secondary schools. SEAs are responsible for administering the EANS grant program, with oversight by the Governor.

What Schools Are Eligible for EANS Support?

Non-public schools, in the context of EANS funding, mean nonprofit and state accredited. Boarding schools, private religious schools, private day schools, private special education centers, and more are able to receive EANS assistance or services through their SEA.

Do note, the legislation does stipulate that SEAs should prioritize support for non-public schools serving students from low-income backgrounds and schools “most impacted by the qualifying emergency.”

 

“The term ‘‘Non-public school’’ means a non-public elementary and secondary school that – (A) is accredited, licensed, or otherwise operates in accordance with State law; and (B) was in existence prior to the date of the qualifying emergency for which grants are awarded under this section.”
— CRRSA legislation

What Is Happening with Funding?

To receive EANS funding under GEER II, state governors need to have an approved Certification and Agreement from the US DOE. All 50 states have completed this process and have received EANS award amounts from the Department.

EANS funds are already moving to SEAs, so non-public educators should be looking for communications from their states and monitoring state education websites for applications and instructions on how to receive support.

Some states—such as Maine, and Nebraska—have already posted preliminary allocations for EANS support by school on their DOE websites.

To participate in the EANS program, eligible non-public schools must complete their state's applications, which have been made available on a state-by-state basis. Many states—including Indiana, Massachusetts, Florida, and Virginia—have already released applications.

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How Can EANS Funds Be Used?

Non-public schools can request EANS services and assistance to address student and school needs caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, including:

  • Buying cleaning and sanitizing supplies

  • Improving school ventilation systems

  • Securing personal protective equipment

  • Purchasing educational technology to support students and educators with hybrid learning, including hardware, software, connectivity, and assistive technology

  • Redeveloping instructional plans for remote learning, hybrid learning, or to address learning loss

  • Initiating and maintaining education and support services or assistance for remote learning, hybrid learning, or to address learning loss

Non-public schools should confirm with their SEA to be sure expenses are reimbursable. The SEA may provide services directly to the non-public schools, or “contract with an individual, association, agency (e.g., an LEA or ESA), or organization to provide such services or assistance.”

Resources:

  • US DOE EANS Program Website
  • US DOE EANS FAQ
  • US DOE General Issues Related to Non-Public Schools FAQ

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