The American Rescue Plan Act has made funds available to states and districts to speed up recovery from the effects of COVID-19, including addressing learning loss.

Wallace filed a comment letter on the Proposed Priorities and Definitions: Secretary’s Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grants Programs intended to guide districts in prioritizing use of the funds.

Wallace recommended that the Department “define what it means by “out of school time settings” in Priority 2 (a) (5), and explicitly include all kinds of programs that occur during the summer, before and after school, in the evenings, and on weekends; located in school buildings or community settings; managed or operated by schools, community organizations, parks, camps, faith-based organizations and other entities; and serving children and youth in grades K-12.

The letter notes that absent this definition, “readers may equate ‘out of school time’ with the common understanding of afterschool as referring to the hours immediately following school, and conclude summer learning and enrichment programs and other approaches are not eligible for funding.”