New Program Provides COVID-19 Relief Funding for Private Schools
The coronavirus has created unprecedented educational disruptions across the country – schools shifting online, closing, reopening for in-person classes, and then going back to an online format as the pandemic surges and recedes. Schools have also had to reconfigure classrooms and common spaces and reduce capacity to enable social distancing, invest in technology to enable distance learning, as well as invest in additional personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and sanitizing products, and other unexpected and unbudgeted expenses.
Help on the Horizon
Could a recent Coronavirus Response Act (CRRSA Act) in December 2020 provide your school with the relief it may desperately need? The Department of Education is offering $2.75 billion in assistance to non-public elementary and secondary schools under the newly created Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) program.
Private schools that are accredited in their state are eligible for this assistance. As long as you don’t apply for and receive a PPP loan after December 27, 2020 then you are eligible to apply.
What Expenses Are Covered?
The purpose of the funding is to address the impact that the coronavirus has had, and continues to have, on students and teachers. The types of services and assistance covered by the program include:
- Cleaning supplies
- PPE and other equipment recommended by the CDC
- Ventilation systems
- Educational technology to assist with remote learning
- Leasing space and erecting barriers to assist with social distancing requirements
- Coronavirus testing
- Some other assistance and services
Plus, if you’ve already incurred these types of expenses since March 2020 (and they haven’t been reimbursed by other federal or PPP funds), then the program will reimburse you for those expenses, for the most part.
How to Get EANS Relief Funding
The State Education Agency (SEA) of each state is responsible for administering the program and the application process, so your first step should be to check with your Governor’s office to see if it’s been accepted by the program.
What Data Will I Need to Apply?
The SEA will ask for data on:
- The number and percentage of low-income students
- COVID impacts on the school
- How the funds will be used
- PPP funding assurances
Each SEA is required to prioritize services or assistance to those schools that enroll low-income students and are most impacted by COVID-19.
Have a Question?
Have a question or want to talk with one of our CPAs about this program or other accounting or audit questions you have? We work with many private education institutions on a variety of financial matters, and we can provide strategies and insights to help you chart a successful way forward. Contact us – we’re here to help.