AASA leads Letter to ED Asking for School Construction Extension

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AASA leads Letter to ED Asking for School Construction Extension

Today, AASA led a letter signed by thirty national education, school facilities and environmental groups to the U.S. Department of Education requesting that they provide additional timeline flexibilities to districts that are struggling to find contractors and supplies for critical school facility work related to the pandemic. Under the American Rescue Plan (ARP),  districts have until December 2024 to liquidate all their funding, but many small and medium-size districts are struggling to even get estimates for projects they need to do to improve air-quality and learning environments.

The inability to obligate ARP funding for construction projects has to do with larger economic issues outside of districts’ control such as supply chain issues, labor shortages, chip shortages, increased competition for engineers and contractors, and inflation. Given the importance of air quality and social distancing during the pandemic, it is of paramount importance that districts have the time they need to use ARP funding to protect and promote student and educator health and well-being. We hope the Department considers every tool it has to provide flexibility to districts that aim to use federal relief funds for these projects and upgrades.