The Federal Government allocated emergency funding, known as EANS I and EANS II, or ARP-EANS, to support private school students impacted by the pandemic. For the most part, the schools that received EANS I have spent or budgeted for their entire allocation. EANS I money must be spent by September 2023. However, ARP-EANS is different. Only 19 private schools in Washington applied that were eligible, and the state government allocated only about $3M of the $45M.
Why are so many schools not eligible for ARP-EANS?
There were considerable eligibility limitations on this emergency funding. Schools had to enroll over 33.6% of low-income students and prove the families’ income level through limited methods. Also, schools cannot use the funding for reimbursements, so all purchases must first be routed through a third-party vendor, making spending the money difficult.
What happens to the $40M not spent by private schools?
If the emergency funding allocated explicitly by Congress to support private schools in each state isn’t spent, it is returned to the Governor’s Office. In Washington, Governor Inslee decides what to do with the unused funding.
What are other states doing?
In many states, the Governors are working with private schools to figure out ways to reallocate the funding back to an increased number of schools and students. For example, Texas and Connecticut Governors developed a streamlined application and will allow schools that received the PPP to access the ARP-EANS funding.
WFIS is requesting that the $40M in unused ARP-EANS be redistributed to private schools using a formula that would allow more schools to receive the grant while broadening the allowable uses. There are many low-income students in all private schools, and every school supports students who need an unusually high level of care and intervention.
WFIS has spoken with the Governor’s Office and shared detailed experiences and requests from schools. We have also outlined blueprints for redistribution used by other states that keep within the intent prescribed by Federal lawmakers. Negotiations are ongoing.