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Nearly all COVID stimulus education money approved early in 2021 remains unspent
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Government figures show that just over 12% of money allocated for education in the "American Rescue Plan" COVID-19 stimulus has been spent so far, as the U.S. enters the second full school year since the law's swift passage in 2021.
The plan, which Democrats passed via a party-line vote shortly after President Biden entered office, provided approximately $122 billion to states and school districts. Just over $15.4 billion of that money has been spent so far, according to numbers from the Department of Education.
States and school districts technically have until the end of September 2024 to spend the money. But students are dealing with effects from the pandemic and remote learning, including in some cases major learning loss, now. The slow spending also raises questions about how urgent it was to pass the education spending via a party-line process in what was framed as emergency legislation.
"The ARP was an example of Rahm Emanuel's old line ‘never let a crisis go to waste,’" Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, told Fox News Digital. "Democrats were so dedicated to maximizing the price tag and going in with a big splash… that they threw in a lot of expenditures that had nothing to do with short-term stimulus."