The U.S. Education Department will make available $127.5 million in coronavirus relief funding to states for short-term postsecondary programs and work-based learning programs.
The funding is part of $307.5 million in discretionary grant funds to help states develop adaptable, innovative learning opportunities for K-12 and postsecondary learners in response to the COVID-19 emergency.
“Current students and displaced workers will be navigating a very different job market and economy once America reopens,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a press release. “This competition is a tremendous opportunity for states to think creatively and strategically about what their workforce needs will be and how to support entrepreneurs and small business in order to get the economic engines in their states firing on all cylinders again.”
The department will divide the funding between two competitions: $180 million for the Rethink K-12 School Models Grant and $127.5 million for the Reimagining Workforce Preparation Grant. The latter is designed to get Americans back to work and help small businesses spur economic growth.
ED estimates that it will award eight to nine grants to states, ranging from $5 million to $20 million. It plans to issue application packages within two weeks. The department’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education is managing the program.