October 12, 2021 Press Releases

Like We Said: Biden and Democrats Provide “Essential” Funds to Keep Arizona Students Safe

Not to worry: Ducey won’t be able to misuse the $862M for his legally questionable anti-mask program

PHOENIX — Late last week, Arizona received another $862 million from President Joe Biden and Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, bringing the state’s total of COVID-19 recovery funds for education to more than $4 billion.

This final distribution of funds from the American Rescue Plan — which passed without a single Republican vote — will provide ‘essential’ funds to maintain in-person learning and close the COVID-19 learning gap:

KTAR: Arizona education chief says federal COVID funds ‘essential’ for safe schools

  • “Arizona has now received more than $4 billion in federal COVID-19 recovery funds for education, which Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said has been “incredibly critical” for schools to safely reopen because “the state has fallen short” in that regard.”

  • “The department said in a press release it will “closely review and monitor” how Arizona spends the money after the Biden administration on Tuesday told Gov. Doug Ducey to stop using previous federal COVID aid for grants to schools without face mask mandates.”

ABC Phoenix: Federal government approves proposal to help Arizona schools close COVID-19 learning gap

  • “The money will help schools catch up with learning loss due to COVID-19. All of Arizona’s schoolchildren were required to learn remotely for at least some portion of last year and in some cases this year.” 

  • “‘Bottom line is schools will be able to implement things they wanted to implement before to achieve a higher level now the federal government has provided the resources at least temporarily to make that a reality,’ Kotterman said.”

Thankfully, the $862 million are not subject to Gov. Doug Ducey’s discretion, meaning that he cannot misuse the funds for his unpopular and problematic anti-mask program:

Daily Independent: Arizona gets $862 million in COVID money for schools

  • “But a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Education told Capitol Media Services that none of these dollars will be available for the legally questionable program instituted by Gov. Doug Ducey to financially reward schools that do not require students and staff to wear masks.”

  • “‘It’s simply unacceptable that state leaders are putting politics over the health and education of the students they took an oath to serve,’ U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a prepared statement when the letters went out in August.”

KJZZ: U.S. Department of Education approves Arizona education plan to distribute $862 million

  • “In a release, the U.S. Department of Education said the approval “will ensure funds are available to the state and local districts to safely support and maintain in-person instructions.’”