WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN DELIVERS HIGH CONSUMER CONFIDENCE, CRITICAL AID TO TRIBAL COMMUNITIES, HELP FOR SCHOOLS

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, help is on the way for America’s communities, schools, and state, local, and tribal governments. The bill’s public investments puts direct checks in the pockets of millions of Americans, funds Covid testing, tracing, and vaccination efforts, and has put schools on the track to safely and quickly reopening.

Here’s what they’re saying:

Morning Consult: Among the Three Stimulus Packages, the Latest Has Led to the Fastest Rise in Consumer Confidence
During the five days since the signing of the American Rescue Plan, Morning Consult’s Index of Consumer Sentiment increased by 2.7 percent, compared to 0.1 and 0.7 percent increases five days after the signing of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March and the $900 billion COVID relief package in December, respectively.

The rapid increase in confidence following the third stimulus bill reflects the size of the additional funds included in the third bill combined with the timeliness of those funds. The American Rescue Plan provides most Americans with $1,400 stimulus checks, larger than both of the checks provided in the previous rounds of stimulus.

The New York Times: Tribal Communities Set to Receive Big New Infusion of Aid
The $1.9 trillion stimulus package signed into law last week by Mr. Biden contains more than $31 billion for tribal governments and other federal programs to help Native populations, a record level of assistance intended to help bolster health care and a variety of other services in some of the nation’s poorest communities.
[…]
The funds will mean tribal governments will be able to partly, or in some cases completely, offset revenue losses suffered during the pandemic, address health care shortcomings exposed by the virus and expand broadband access. The legislation also includes two separate grant funds for education programs for Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. to Give $10 Billion to Schools for Covid-19 Testing
The U.S. government plans to spend $10 billion in Covid-19 screening for schools, its latest step to increase testing nationwide and encourage schools to reopen for in-person learning.
[…]
Funds to implement Covid-19 testing programs will further help assuage the fears of teachers hesitant to return to the classroom and of parents worried about the safety of their children, said Dan Domenech, executive director of the AASA, the Schools Superintendents Association, a national group representing superintendents.

CBS News: Biden administration says $122 billion of COVID relief will go to schools: “This spring, we want our students back in school”
State educational agencies will start to receive the emergency funding, part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan stimulus package, this month, the department announced earlier Wednesday. The money will help schools pay for personal protective equipment, improve ventilation, fund summer and after-school programs, avoid layoffs and pay for Wi-Fi hotspots and devices for students without remote connectivity, among other uses, the announcement states.

“We know that schools are needing that to not only prepare for reopening now, but to plan ahead. We know that when our students come back they’re going to need more social and emotional support. We know that our schools have to be designed to meet the needs of our students after they return after the pandemic,” [Education Secretary Miguel Cardona] said. 

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