Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA Act), Pub. L. No. 116-260 (December 27, 2020), Congress first authorized the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) program as part of the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER II) Fund to provide emergency services or assistance to non-public schools in the wake of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP Act), Pub. L. No. 117-2 (March 11, 2021), authorized a second round of funding (ARP EANS) to provide services or assistance to non-public schools. With two exceptions, the requirements of ARP EANS are the same as those in section 312(d) of the CRRSA Act. The two exceptions are: (1) a State educational agency (SEA) may only provide services or assistance under ARP EANS to non-public schools that enroll a significant percentage of students from low-income families and are most impacted by the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency and (2) an SEA may not use ARP EANS funds to provide reimbursements to any non-public school for costs the school incurred to address the impact of COVID-19 emergency.
Non-public schools wishing to apply must meet the following eligibility requirements.
- The school must enroll no less than 20% low-income students. The data used to meet this requirement must come from one of the following sources from the 2019-20 school year and must be verifiable.
- Data on student eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (43 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.) or
- Data from a different source, such as scholarship or financial assistance data.
- The school must have existed and operated prior to March 13, 2020.
- The school must be a nonprofit school. Note: In Kentucky home schools are considered to be non-profit by nature, so long as they are not charging tuition for services.
- The school must be accredited, licensed, or otherwise approved to operate in accordance with State law. Note: Private schools are approved to operate within Kentucky without accreditation, licensure, or certification.
- The school requesting services or assistance did not, and will not, apply for and receive a loan under paragraphs (36) or (37) of section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)(37)) that is made on or after the date of enactment of the American Rescue Plan, which is March 11, 2021. Note, a non-public school that received a loan guaranteed under paragraph (36) of section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)) that was made before the date of enactment of the American Rescue Plan shall be eligible to receive services or assistance under this program.
A non-public school may receive services or assistance under the ARP EANS program to address educational disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 emergency for:
- Supplies to sanitize, disinfect, and clean school facilities;
- Personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Improving ventilation systems, including windows or portable air purification systems to ensure healthy air in the non-public school;
- Training and professional development for staff on sanitation, the use of PPE, and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases;
- Physical barriers to facilitate social distancing;
- Other materials, supplies, or equipment to implement public health protocols, including guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff during the COVID-19 emergency;
- Expanding capacity to administer coronavirus testing to effectively monitor and suppress coronavirus, to conduct surveillance and contact tracing activities, and to support other activities related to coronavirus testing for students, teachers, and staff at the non-public school;
- Educational technology (including hardware, software, connectivity, assistive technology, and adaptive equipment) to assist students, educators, and other staff with remote or hybrid learning;
- Redeveloping instructional plans, including curriculum development, for remote learning, hybrid learning, or to address learning loss;
- Leasing of sites or spaces to ensure safe social distancing to implement public health protocols, including guidelines and recommendations from the CDC;
- Reasonable transportation costs; and
- Initiating and maintaining education and support services or assistance for remote learning, hybrid learning, or to address learning loss.
Note, under EANS II the Kentucky Department of Education is prohibited from providing reimbursements to non-public schools. KDE must administer this program, including the approval of applications, prioritization of funding, and the maintenance of fiscal and programmatic control. No funds are directly provided to non-public schools. Further, the KDE must retain title to all materials and supplies provided. More in-depth explanations of the program, including roles and responsibilities, may be found in the non-regulatory guidance document produced by the USDE titled Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) Program
. Additionally, the USDE maintains a website for this program with supplemental information