The Department of Education (DOE) would be required to submit an annual report detailing its use of federal COVID-19 relief funds under a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Mila Jasey and Ralph Caputo. The full Assembly on Thursday voted to advance the bill, which aims to encourage greater transparency, 77-0.
The report required by the bill (A-2067) would consist of information regarding any federal funding received by the DOE to address the COVID-19 pandemic including, but not limited to, funds granted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act; the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act; and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021.
The DOE would also be required to report on the purposes of the grant funding and submit a final report regarding the expenditure of the federal COVID-19 relief grants six months after the funds are exhausted.
Assembly sponsors Lampitt (D-Burlington, Camden), Jasey (D-Essex, Morris) and Caputo (D-Essex) issued the following joint statement:
“It’s important to make sure we are maximizing all of the resources available to us, especially when it comes to equipping our schools with the tools they need to support and uplift our students.
“By requiring the DOE to submit an annual report on COVID-19 relief funds received from the federal government and distributed to school districts throughout the State, along with the usage of those funds, we can ensure that money is appropriately spent.”