Contact: Sally Fox,

WASHINGTON, D.C.Today, Congressman Bryan Steil (WI-01) asked Wisconsin State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor for information on the status of CARES Act funds allocated to Wisconsin to safely reopen schools.

“The science is clear: students should be back in the classroom learning. Congress has appropriated billions of dollars for schools to safely reopen, yet in states like Wisconsin, nearly one year later, millions of dollars have yet to be spent. We must work to safely reopen schools today, not tomorrow or next year. Reopening schools is vital to our kids’ mental health, academic success, and allows working parents to get back to work. Congress is rushing through a $1.9 trillion spending bill. We need transparency into the funds already approved. The State of Wisconsin must work to support our students,” said Steil.

The State of Wisconsin received $158 million for school districts to safely reopen schools and combat the impacts of coronavirus. According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), as of Friday, February 18, 2021, less than half of this CARES Act funding has been spent. The CARES Act became law in March of 2020.

Read Steil’s letter to Superintendent Stanford Taylor here.

Steil asks Superintendent Stanford Taylor the following questions:

  • Why has there been such a delay in LEAs using the funds they have been allocated?
  • Are the uses of the funding too restrictive?
  • Are reporting requirements the cause for the lag in spending information?
  • What can we do to ensure these funds are being spent to safely reopen schools more quickly?
  • Have schools that reopened for in-person learning been giving priority for funding?
  • Has the second round of ESSER funding, $617 million for Wisconsin, begun to be spent yet? If not do you have any estimation of when those funds will be used?


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