Action alert: How should Dept. of Ed spend federal relief funds?

In March, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was enacted into law and includes $1.3 billion for Minnesota to spend on E-12 education. The purpose of the funds is to help schools return to and maintain safe in-person learning for all students. Federal law requires 90 percent of the funds are allocated to eligible public school districts and charter schools, with 9.5 percent of the funds available for flexible use by each state education agency to meet the needs of students.

From now until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 1, Minnesotans can submit public feedback on how the Minnesota Department of Education could use the nearly $124 million of flexible federal relief to support student learning.

The survey lists “draft strategies” that MDE is considering to use the funds on — some of the ideas are better than others — but the survey’s only question is where your voice comes in. Minnesotans can recommend additional strategies for MDE to consider that would help boost learning and help students recover from a lack of and limited in-person instruction.

Based on your experience with your student(s), you know them best and what they have missed out academically, emotionally and socially this past year.

Note: These funds are separate from what Gov. Tim Walz announced he would spend on summer school programming and mental health this summer.

If you prefer not to submit your comments online, you may submit them as an email attachment to mde.federalcovidfunds@state.mn.us or you may mail a hard copy of your survey responses (postmarked by June 1) to:

Minnesota Department of Education
Attention: Federal Funding Public Comment
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113