Students and Educators
On January 20, 2021, by Executive Order, President Biden extended the pause on federal student loan payments and collections and keeping the interest rate at 0% through September 30, 2021.
Stay up to date with the Arizona Department of Education, HERE. If you are concerned about your studies or loan repayment, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid has an informational page on their website. The website is updated regularly with information for students, borrowers, and families. Visit, HERE.
The American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, provides nearly $130 billion in critical funding for safe school re-openings including $850 million for grants to Bureau of Indian Education-operated elementary and secondary schools as well as Tribal Colleges and Universities. The legislation also provides $7.1 billion in broadband investments to expand internet connectivity for students and rural, tribal, and underserved communities. For a breakdown of funding schools in Arizona will receive, click HERE.
Read the Arizona Department of Health Services guidelines to “Safely Returning to In-Person Instruction” and their three recommended benchmarks (cases, percent positivity, COVID-like illnesses) HERE. The Arizona Superintendent compiled guidance for schools navigating reopening. Check the Arizona Department of Education website HERE for information on their “Roadmap for Reopening Schools” and other resources for teachers.
The Arizona Department of Health Services has also created a data dashboard to see whether your county has met the three recommended school benchmarks HERE. Each Arizona school district has its own plan; check your school district’s website for specific information about school reopening.
Food assistance resources can be found on my website, HERE.
Other resources for students:
Smithsonian Institution Digital Resources for Students, HERE.
Library of Congress Digital Resources for Students, HERE.
Library of Congress family-specific programming and activities, HERE.
Library of Congress Programming page, HERE.
RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS AND ADMINISTRATORS:
The U.S. Department of Education has developed a landing page for COVID-19 information and resources for schools and school personnel, HERE.
If you are wondering how to talk to your kids about coronavirus during these uncertain times, visit the CDC's website, HERE, for resources.
If you're looking for activities and tips you can use to help kids play and learn at home, sign up for PBS KIDS Daily Newsletter HERE.
For more digital K-12 educational resources, click HERE.
Arizona Public Media and Arizona PBS are working together to roll out a unified approach for all Arizona school districts, classroom teachers, and parents who are working at home to keep their children educationally engaged. This will include broadcast programming and accompanying digital resources that adhere to our state curriculum to provide continued at-home learning. Information HERE and HERE.
CARES Act benefits, explained:
A fact sheet on provisions for students, educators, and institutions under the CARES Act from the House Education and Labor Committee is available, HERE.
Older Student loans updates:
The CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, provides temporary relief for federal student loan borrowers with federally-held loans (Direct Loans and FFEL loans) through September 30, 2020. Borrowers will not be required to make any payments toward outstanding interest or principle. Borrowers with these loans do not need to do anything to receive these benefits, they will be applied to your account automatically. Borrowers may still make payments if they wish, but there will be no penalty for missing payments until after the deadline.
If you are not sure whether your student loans may be eligible, please contact your loan servicer. It is important to note that these benefits do not apply to Federal Perkins Loans or private student loans. Borrowers with these loans should contact their loan servicer, many of whom are offering relief programs for borrowers.
The CARES Act also suspends interest accrual for such loans and prohibits forced collections and negative credit reporting during this period. Student borrowers will still receive credit toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Income-Driven Repayment forgiveness, and loan rehabilitation.