Dept. of Ed. distributes $39 Mil. in emergency assistance to non-public schools

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 7:37 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Education is distributing nearly $39 million in COVID-19 assistance to 111 non-public schools in the state.

State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman says the funding comes from a Federal allotment specifically targeted at non-public schools.

Spearman says $38,702,511 in COVID-19 reimbursements and future expenditures will go to the 111 non-public schools.

The Federal program is called the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools program and the SCDE says it was created by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. The CRRSA Act was signed into law by former President Donald Trump on March 27.

“Every South Carolina student and family has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” Spearman said. “These funds were appropriated by Congress specifically to address the needs of our private and parochial schools who have faced similar challenges to our public education system.”

The SCDE says the CRRSA Act provided $2.75 billion for the nationwide EANS program. They say the EANS program is also part of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.

The CRRSA Act allocates funds reserved for EANS based on each state’s relative number of children aged five through 17 that are enrolled in non-public schools and live at or below 185% of the poverty line.

Under these guidelines, the SCDE says South Carolina was awarded $39,981,327 in EANS funding

As required by the EANS program, priority was given to non-public schools that enroll low-income students and are most impacted by COVID-19, the SCDE said.

The full EANS approval methodology can be found on the SCDE’s website.

“We appreciate the attention and devoted work of the Department to facilitate the delivery of the EANS emergency funds to the non-public schools of our state,” South Carolina Association of Christian Schools Representative Edward Earwood said. “The non-public schools have continued serving students and parents during a fifteen-month period of increased challenge and difficulty that affected all South Carolinians. We have appreciated the good working relationship with the Department to serve students—the future of our state.”

The SCDOE says the non-public school requesting services or assistance must:

  • be a non-profit school
  • be accredited, licensed, or otherwise approved to operate in accordance with State law
  • have existed and operated prior to March 13, 2020
  • not and will not apply for and receive a loan under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) (15 U.S.C. 636(a)(37)) that is made on or after December 27, 2020.

The SCDE says available amounts for services to non-public schools range from $1,058 to $1.7 million.

A listing of schools who applied for funding and how much they were awarded can be found on the SCDE’s website.

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