National Opportunity Project (NOP) Questions Where $700 Million for Schools Went

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Ever wondered where some of the money in your bank account went? How about more than $700 million?

That is exactly what has happened in our government that provides oversight and accountability for funds from hardworking citizens like yourself. 

The money was to be allocated to schools by Congress and an answer to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to a report from the National Opportunity Project (NOP) released this month, some “$736 million of federal aid has failed to reach the nonpublic schools and students it was intended for.” 

Even more, at least “$585 million, if not more, of the $736 million that has yet to reach nonpublic schools is at risk of being directed away from schools that need it.”

The NOP blames this on government “mismanagement at federal and state levels” that “ultimately kept qualified schools from accessing funds designated for them by Congress.”

These funds were allocated three years ago, the NOP explains the issue:

“Congress made available nearly $200 billion through federal COVID relief starting in 2020. About 97% of this funding went to government-run public schools. After a push from stakeholders to acknowledge the harm of government-mandated closures on nonpublic schools, Congress created Emergency Assistance to Nonpublic Schools (EANS) and allocated $5.5 billion in aid to nonpublic schools with low-income students severely impacted by Covid.”

According to the NOP, some states used aid dollars as “a slush fund” and that disincentivized state authorities from allocating all the funding.

NOP’s analysis found “at least $157 million that states didn’t allocate to nonpublic schools has already ended up back in the hands of governors.”

They explained that “arbitrary” parameters for the program caused issues. “States were left to decide how to notify schools of the program, calculate the impact of Covid on schools, and how to measure the low-income student enrollment in order to qualify for EANS funds,” NOP explains in its report. The result was “a lopsided and inconsistent distribution of funds.”