The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing portions of Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties:
Students of all ages have had a challenging time the last 13 months, attempting to learn in new ways and under changing circumstances. Fortunately, the American Rescue Plan is sending help.
College students across Iowa will benefit from its financial support for higher education. The Plan includes $36 billion for public and private colleges and universities nationwide.
The funding will help implement safety protocols, distance learning programs and emergency financial assistance for students whose education was sidetracked when the pandemic hit. In addition, there is increased support for such student services as mental health and social and emotional learning. Colleges and universities can use remaining funds to replace lost revenue and cover emergency expenses.
Under the American Rescue Plan, Iowa is getting more than $363 million in higher education funding. Half of that—close to $182 million—will go directly to students. Students may use the money to cover their financial losses and unforeseen expenses due to the pandemic.
As the Legislature works on next year’s budget for our state universities, community colleges and private colleges, I hope we’ll show that Iowa is also committed to investing in students and their future.
I am encouraged that the Education Appropriations bill before the Senate (SF 596<https://www.legis.iowa.gov
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