The House Committee on Education and Labor on Monday released the bill text for the education portion of the fiscal year 2021 budget reconciliation ahead of Tuesday’s markup session.
The reconciliation bill includes nearly $40 billion in pandemic relief aid for institutions of higher education. The funding would be made available to institutions through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), and would utilize the same allocation formula and allowable uses of funds as the CRRSA. As was the case with HEERF allocations received through the CARES Act, public and private non-profit institutions receiving new funds would be required to spend at least 50% of their allocation on emergency financial aid grants provided directly to students, and proprietary institutions would be required to spend 100% of their allocations on student grants.
The bill text notes that institutions “shall solely determine” which students are eligible to receive the emergency aid grants made available through the legislation. The text also included language that would impact proprietary institutions subject to the so-called “90-10 rule” by including all federal funds received by a student, such as veterans assistance funds, as federal education assistance funds, though it is unclear whether HEERF funds received by students would be counted in the federal portion.
Congressional Democrats last week passed a joint fiscal year 2021 budget resolution, effectively paving the way to enact a budget reconciliation measure aligned with President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief proposal.
Stay tuned to Today’s News for an in-depth analysis following the House committee’s Tuesday markup.
Publication Date: 2/9/2021