Faculties nonetheless have billions of federal Covid aid cash to spend

Posted by Katie Lobosco, CNN

(CNN) – Congress approves more than $ 190 billion to help America’s schools reopen and stay open during the pandemic – and while much of the funding has been used to buy PPE, improve ventilation, and promote summer school programs, billions of dollars remain to be spent.

Many local school authorities have not yet decided how to use the final round of funds released in March. In most states, districts are required to submit an expense plan between mid-August and mid-September, which will be refunded when the money is used.

“I am both compassionate and frustrated with the district’s current spending rate,” said Marguerite Roza, professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and director of the Edunomics Lab research center.

The Covid aid money – which comes from three different laws – is a huge federal investment of roughly six times the core funding for fiscal year 2021. Congress gave schools more than three years to spend the newest and largest round of cash with few conditions. It is unlikely to be spent all at once, especially if used on teacher salaries or capital improvements that are paid over time.

The money should help schools provide safe, personal tuition for all students new challenges to keep kids in the classroom this fall as the delta variant spreads and families await vaccine approval for children under 12.

Schools in Texas have already topped the highest weekly number of Covid cases from last year. A Lack of bus drivers in Chicago, partly because of Resignation due to vaccination mandate, left families in search of transportation. Parents are frustrated and in some places have it Push school councils into heated debate about masks and vaccines, which fuel interest in local elections.

Here’s what we know about what schools are getting and how they are spending it.

How much money do schools get?

Not every school gets the same amount of money. The law tells states to pay out the money like Title I funding, meaning more money goes to districts with more low-income families. Some districts with very low poverty rates do not receive direct Covid aid funding – but may be eligible for some funding at the discretion of the state.

When the pandemic first broke out, the CARES bill approved about $ 13 billion for K-12 schools, or about $ 270 per student. The bill, passed in December, provided roughly $ 54 billion, or $ 1,100 per student, and the latest and greatest package, the American Rescue Plan, saw spending of $ 128 billion, according to an analysis by FutureEd amount to $ 2,600 per student. another non-partisan think tank at Georgetown University.

Schools spent a large portion of the money from the first relief law, passed a year ago, on PPE, cleaning supplies, technology, and learning management systems that helped students study from home, as well as salaries and wages – so a survey by the Association of School Management Officials carried out in February.

How can schools spend the money?

About 20% of the money a district receives goes to dealing with learning losses – this can include tutoring programs, summer schools, or extended school days in the future.

There are few other constraints on funding, however, so it is largely up to local school authorities to decide how to spend it on a wide range of pandemic-related needs.

The law states that it can be spent on things like plumbing, technology, mental health services, and ventilation systems, to name a few. However, it is not certain that all plans will be fully implemented – especially when it comes to hiring more teachers and counselors who may be hard to find.

Districts are required to solicit public contributions on the use of the money, although public relations efforts vary. Many school authorities discussed spending in public meetings throughout the summer. The topic is often referred to on agendas as the Elementary and Middle School Emergency Fund or ESSER.

States are allowed to keep 10% of the Covid education aid and decide how the money is paid out. They had to file an application with the Ministry of Education earlier this year and will receive the last third of the money once it’s approved. The department has 33 approved so far.

Expenditure plans: tutoring, psychological counseling, renovations

The decentralized nature of the US school system makes it difficult to keep track of how exactly the districts spend the money. A recent poll from the School Superintendents Association noted that the majority of districts plan to use the funds for support staff, technology for Internet access, and professional development for educators. Other top priorities are high-intensity tutoring, additional study time through remuneration of staff for longer working hours and the renovation of facilities.

The Detroit Public School District, For example, plans to use Covid aid funds to give teachers a one-time bonus, tutoring, expanding mental health services, making improvements to facilities, and reducing class size by hiring more teachers.

But not every use can be justified. The Illinois State Board of Education recently rejected the plan of a district,o Use Covid aid dollars for an artificial surface on his soccer field.

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Venues nonetheless eligible for billions left in SBA grant cash

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – For fifteen months the tables were empty and the stage at The 5 Spot in East Nashville was mostly quiet.

“It wasn’t just the owners who took a hit, it was a trickle-down effect,” said co-owner and general manager Travis Collinsworth. “All employees were unemployed, [and] the artists who play with us. “That’s one of the reasons why he chose the Small Business Administration Grant for operators of shuttered venues. “We received it about a month ago and are currently using it, yes,” he said.

Congress allocated $ 16 billion to the program. Due to technical issues, the launch in April was bumpy, but to date applicants have requested $ 12 billion of the $ 16 billion – meaning there is still $ 4 billion to be won.

“My actual application with the accompanying documents, you know, is an inch and a half thick. So it took a while to put all this stuff together,” said Collinsworth, holding up a folder of documents. He said that while the process was time consuming, it was clearly to be followed.

Theaters, live music venues, museums, and performing arts organizations are just a few of those that could potentially receive up to $ 10 million in grants. So far, the SBA has decided over 85% of the applications.

“We now have more resources to make sure everyone gets a little bit whole than they would have been,” said Collinsworth.

Venues that have already received cash but suffered a 70% loss in revenue may be able to re-enter the $ 4 billion pot for additional funding.

Collinsworth said it was something he was up to.

Worldwide Fraud Ring Steals Billions In EDD Cash From California – CBS Los Angeles

Los Angeles (CBSLA) – More than $ 11 billion was stolen from the state of California by fraud against the Employment Development Department.

Experts say a large part of this scam was committed by a very sophisticated and organized fraud ring based in Nigeria. Documents acquired from CBS2 show how easy it is for scammers to defraud the unemployment system using guides they can find on the dark web.

“I was like, ‘Oh god, let’s go, they hacked me,'” said Michelle Turner’s Kristine Lazar of CBS2.

Turner wasn’t surprised when her EDD account was empty. She had seen the California scam all over the news. But that doesn’t mean she was ready to lose more than $ 6,000.

“To think it’s that easy,” she said. “They can take anything from you in a second, in a second,” said Turner.

CONNECTED: 3 Inland Empire women plead guilty after receiving $ 1.3 million in unemployment benefits

Someone spent the money on three separate Florida transactions. Michelle lives in San Bernardino. Fraud experts say thieves from around the world plunged into California’s unemployment fund.

“The vast majority of them are in places like West Africa, mostly Nigeria,” said Crane Hassold, Agari Director of Threat Research. “Hence the focus of this fraud.”

Hassold founded the FBI’s Cyber ​​Behavioral Analysis Center. He says most of the EDD fraud is being perpetrated by a Nigerian criminal ring called Scattered Canary.

CONNECTED: The judge’s injunction instructs the BofA to release EDD accounts suspected of fraud

“Many of these scammers are younger, and many of them are quite well educated,” said Hassold. “You’ve got a degree and you’re out of college and the problem is that there aren’t many job opportunities in Nigeria.”

Hassold showed CBSLA a document he had found in a chat on WhatsApp and was communicating with the fraudster. The 39-page manual provides step-by-step instructions for filing a fraudulent EDD claim.

“And put it down in such a way that there are few warning signals,” said Hassold.

All that is needed? A “fullz,” a slang term used by scammers to mean a stolen identity name, date of birth, address, phone number, and social security number.

CONNECTED: Southland residents who receive unemployment insurance will be required to actively seek work from July 11th

“Many of these people only buy their full identities very, very cheaply on the dark web or in underground forums,” said Hassold.

For just one dollar, and the payout is very lucrative.

“I think we’ll get into the high tens, if not 100 billion dollars when all is said and done here,” said Hassold.

Stopping this scam is not an easy task.

“We have always said on my team that you can arrest dozens, if not hundreds, of these guys and you really don’t make a dent,” said Hassold. “You need to do this differently and identify the accounts that will be used to receive these funds and close them as soon as possible.”

The problem with this is that EDD has very old technology. A 30 year old computer system that uses a technology that was developed 60 years ago called COBOL.

“It’s inconceivable that they would be expected to distribute billions and billions of dollars on technology that you can’t even find people to code for,” said Haywood Talcove, CEO of Lexis Nexis Special Services, which helps make online Stop fraud. “Fraud is really easy to stop and it is stopped by the banks, the financial institutions and the online merchants.”

But with EDD technology, fighting fraud is a slow and arduous process, according to Talcove.

“This morning I was on the dark web looking around in anticipation of this interview, and there had to be over 850 people on the dark web talking about trying to crack the current California state system,” he said.

Turner said Bank of America said it would take at least 60 to 90 days to get their money back, but within a day of CBSLA contacting the bank, more than half of the stolen money was returned to their account.

CBSLA reached out to EDD but did not immediately hear an answer.

IRS sending billions of stimulus {dollars} and plus-up funds. This is find out how to observe your cash

Stimulus check payments aren’t over yet for everyone. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Next month’s child tax credit rollout might be consuming a lot of the IRS’s bandwidth these days, but the tax agency is still focused on sending weekly batches of the third stimulus checks. So far during the month of June, the tax agency has sent more than $6 billion in stimulus payments, with half coming as direct deposit and the other half as paper checks. Some of that money includes “plus-up” adjustments for people who received less money than they were supposed to get in earlier checks. 

Even though many of us got our stimulus money in the earlier batches in spring, some have had to wait weeks or months for their checks. The IRS sent money first to people who’d already filed their 2019 or 2020 tax returns because those were the easiest to verify. So if you’re still waiting for your stimulus check up to $1,400 — or think you might be due a plus-up payment — we’ll tell you what to do next. 

In the meantime, many experts say a fourth stimulus check is unlikely, but millions of families will be getting a good chunk of money with July’s first child tax credit payment. We can tell you how to know if you qualify and how much money you could expect over the course of the year. The IRS is also issuing unemployment tax refunds to millions of people who received jobless benefits last year, though payments are taking longer than expected. This story was updated recently.

Stimulus and plus-up payments are still being issued

The amount of money you got in your stimulus checks depends on a multitude of factors, including how much money you made for the year (this is your adjusted gross income), how many eligible kids you had and so on. This is the kind of information the IRS largely gets from your tax return, or from other sources of information if you don’t typically file taxes.  Since the third stimulus checks began arriving in the middle of tax season, the end result is that some people’s payments were calculated based on information the IRS had from last year, not from this year.

That means the IRS might owe you more money even if you already got a stimulus check. Let’s say you had a new baby or made less money. As part of the IRS processing your tax return, if it determines that you’re actually owed more than you got, the agency may send a plus-up payment. So far, the IRS has sent billions in payments this way. Given an extended tax due date (May 17 instead of the usual April 15), delays in processing tax returns and a backlog from last year’s tax returns, the IRS will likely be sending out plus-up payments through December.

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Stimulus plus-up payments: What you need to know


How to track your stimulus check online

With the IRS Get My Payment tool, you can get a daily update on your payment status. The online app can also alert you with a message if there’s a problem with your payment that you may need to address. Another option is to create an online account with the IRS, if you haven’t already. 

If you are sent a plus-up payment after your 2020 tax return is processed, the amount of your third payment will no longer show up on the tool, according to the IRS. In that case you will only see the status of your plus-up payment. 

If you expect your payment to come in the mail, you can use a free tool from the US Postal Service to track your mailed stimulus payment.

Stimulus check delivery start and end dates

First direct deposits made March 17
First paper checks sent Week of March 15
First EIP cards sent Week of March 22
First Social Security, SSI, SSDI payment sent Weekend of April 3, most arriving April 7
First plus-up payments Weekend of April 3
VA benefits for veteran nonfilers Week of April 14
IRS deadline to finish sending checks Dec. 31, 2021 (mandated by the bill)
Last date to receive a check January 2022 (if mailed checks sent late December)
Final claims for missing stimulus money 2021 tax season likely (in 2022)

What might be holding up your stimulus payment

Here’s some information on possible delays with your stimulus check and other problems you might encounter.

Update on a fourth stimulus check

Millions have been clamoring for recurring stimulus payments, and some lawmakers have expressed support for more relief aid through the pandemic. But President Joe Biden hasn’t pledged support to a fourth check, focusing instead on his proposed family and jobs packages and the recent infrastructure deal

In a press conference on June 3, White House press secretary Jen Psaki played down the possibility of a fourth stimulus check, asserting that the administration has already put forward an economic recovery plan. Through the debate in Washington over additional economic impact payments continues, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that there will be any more direct payments this year. 

If your third stimulus amount is less than expected

The IRS isn’t particularly big on communicating how much money it calculates for your stimulus check. You won’t find that figure in the agency’s online tracking tool, but you will see it in the confirmation letter you’ll receive in the mail. (And here’s why you got the payment size you did.) 

So what happens if you use our stimulus check calculator and notice the numbers seem way off, or the IRS letter quotes an amount you didn’t receive? Start by triple-checking your qualifications to make sure you’re eligible for the total you expect. Remember the IRS is automatically sending plus-up payments after the agency receives your 2020 tax return. If you had a baby or otherwise added a dependent in 2020, you won’t need to file an amended tax form to claim the supplement.

The IRS could open up claims for missing stimulus money before its Dec. 31 deadline to stop sending checks. If not, you might have to wait a year to claim it — when you file your 2021 taxes in 2022 (even if you’re a nonfiler who isn’t typically required to file taxes).

What to do if you’re missing money from the first two stimulus checks

Plus-up payments are going out weekly along with the third round of checks, but they may not be the only money you’re due. For money missing from the first two checks, you need to claim that on your 2020 taxes. We suggest making sure you know where to find your adjusted gross income. You may be eligible to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit for claiming missing money from the first two checks.

Also, last week, the IRS launched a new online for non-tax filer families called the “Non-filer Sign-up Tool.” Its purpose is to help eligible families who don’t normally file a tax return enroll in the monthly child tax credit advance payment program, which is slated to begin July 15. However, the tool is also for those who did not file either a 2019 or 2020 tax return and did not use the previous non-filers tool last year to register for stimulus payments. 

In other words, individuals who experience homelessness or make little or no income can use this tool to enter their personal details for the IRS to receive the $1,400 stimulus checks or claim the recovery rebate credit for any amount of the first two rounds of payments that might have been missed. Tax nonfilers may need to be proactive about claiming a new dependent, too.

How to notify the IRS of an issue with your stimulus check

The IRS doesn’t want you to call if you encounter a problem with the delivery or amount of your stimulus check. So what to do instead? Our guide walks you through how to report stimulus check problems, including checks that never arrived (try filing a payment trace), direct deposit payments that went to the wrong account and other issues.

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Stimulus check 3: How much money you’ll get


Don’t throw away the IRS letter about your stimulus payment

Hold on to that IRS letter that confirms your stimulus payment, including the amount and how the IRS sent your money. That letter from the IRS — Notice 1444-C — is your proof that the IRS sent a payment in case you don’t actually receive it or if you received less than you qualify for and need to claim the missing amount later. Here’s more on what to do with that IRS letter.

How taxes play a role in your stimulus payment amount

Taxes were due May 17. So how will the IRS figure out how much it owes you? It will calculate your total (you can also do that here) based on the most recent tax filing it’s processed when tabulating the amount of your stimulus check.

If you know your tax return was already processed, the amount of your stimulus check will likely be based on your 2020 adjusted gross income, not on your 2019 AGI. That presents complications if the difference between the two years disqualifies you from getting a third stimulus check

On the flip side, if the IRS uses your 2019 taxes and you’re owed more money based on your 2020 AGI and dependents, you could get a plus-up payment. If you got more than you’re owed, you’ll only need to return it to the IRS in some cases. 

When the stimulus checks will stop being issued 

Most of the third stimulus check payments have gone out from the IRS and US Department of the Treasury, based on the information the IRS has on hand to determine payment amounts. The March stimulus law, however, gives these federal agencies until Dec. 31, 2021, to send out all the third checks. That gives the IRS room to process 2020 tax returns and square up payments for those who are owed plus-up amounts, folks who filed for a 2020 tax extension and other groups, like people who moved or don’t have a fixed address (such as people experiencing homelessness).


Millions could end up receiving a smaller stimulus check than they’re owed.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Other important information about stimulus checks

Stimulus checks aren’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all situation. Here are guides for:

Missourians will get billions in stimulus cash

ST. LOUIS – “It’s really a game changer for Missouri,” said Traci Gleason of the Missouri Budget Project, a nonprofit that keeps track of state budgets and how they affect families.

“And our mission is to improve the lives of all Missourians,” says Gleason, who sees this potential in the EU $ 5.4 billion in federal funding for Missouri from the American Rescue Plan.

“A significant number of people … are still concerned. Will they be able to earn their rent or will they be evicted in the next three months?” She said of those struggling economically in Missouri over COVID.

One way the American Rescue Plan is designed to help families is through child tax credits.

The new law increases the amount to $ 3,600 per year.

“It is estimated that 73,000 Missouri children will be lifted out of poverty through this child tax credit,” Gleason said. “Over 80% to 90% of families in Missouri will benefit from this expansion.”

Researcher at Columbia University According to this stimulus package, child poverty in Missouri could be reduced by 43% nationwide.

And there is more. Much of the plan focuses on those who are said to be hardest hit by the pandemic Missouri Budget Project – often those with fewer resources and poor health from COVID.

Missouri could see more than $ 1 billion for Medicaid’s expansion – on top of the federal funds already promised.

The focus is on cities with 50,000 or more inhabitants.

The city of St. Louis is expects more than $ 450 million – or almost half of its annual budget.

“There are some big decisions that will face policymakers over the next few weeks and months that can have long-term generational implications,” Gleason said.

Pa. to get billions in federal reduction, however do states “want” that cash? One U.S. Senator says no

HARRISBURG, PA (WHTM) – Cash will be on its way to the States shortly as part of the $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 bailout plan. While any state could probably use the money, do the states really need the money? One of the US Senators from Pennsylvania told abc27 News, “No way.”

A pandemic, two very different ones, assume how sick it has made the Pennsylvania economy.

Democratic Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Montgomery, Philadelphia), who chairs the funds, says the state is a wreck.

“Everything in Pennsylvania has been devastated,” said Hughes.

It is safe to say that US Senator Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania, disagrees.

“We are now in 2021 and revenues have increased again. So there is no financial crisis, there is just a desire to spend a lot of free money on who knows what, ”Toomey said.

Toomey criticizes the $ 350 billion for state and local governments, which he believes will bring in $ 20 billion more nationwide in 2020 than in 2019.

And this fiscal year, the state’s revenue has increased by 14%. He calls the aid an unnecessary gift from President Biden.

“To save badly run blue states,” Toomey said.

Hughes questioned Toomey’s decision about the Pennsylvania tax cut, which benefited certain groups more than others.

“He had no problem voting for a $ 1.7 billion tax cut that would only benefit the dirty rich. Not just the rich – the dirty rich too, ”said Hughes.

Hughes insists the bailout plan will shake up poor neighborhoods and the middle class, who will spend the money and boost the economy.

“If you get people back to work, they’ll pay their taxes. You’re making a contribution, ”said Hughes.

Governor Wolf’s spokeswoman said, “As Sen. Toomey has repeatedly said, Pa. Needs these funds to avoid either massive tax hikes or draconian service cuts.”

However, Toomey continues to reiterate that there is no financial crisis caused by COVID in the Commonwealth.

“If you thought that was the case, you should ask yourself, ‘Why is Governor Wolf proposing an 11% increase in spending on the budget for the next year?’ Obviously he’s not too worried about revenue, ”Toomey said.

State officials hope the federal money will flow to Pennsylvania in the next few weeks.

Church buildings do not have billions mendacity round. They want PPP cash

To the Editor: My Church, St. Mary of the Assumption, received a US $ 125,000 Federal Paycheck Protection Program loan. (“The Catholic dioceses sat on billions collecting pandemic aid for taxpayers, ”4. February)

Since our church doors closed at the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve expanded our food bank and buried 275 people. We visit PIH Health Hospital in Whittier three times a week and answer emergency calls. We continue to teach children in our elementary school and celebrate the sacraments.

We were confused by government guidelines, but all of our services are held off-site because we believe it is safer to do so. We have also asked our senior community members and those with limited health to stay home and participate online. Our weekly participation is 25% compared to the pre-pandemic, and our offer is 75%.

With the PPP loan we were initially able to pay the salaries of our employees; When the money ran out we had to fire five employees.

It’s an old myth that billions of dollars are lying around in the Catholic Church. I am grateful that we qualified for a PPP loan. I think we spent the money well. If we qualify for another loan, our church will apply and use that money to satisfy more hunger, comfort more sick, bury more of our dead, and pay more salaries.

The Rev. Patrick Keyes, Whittier


To the editor: Why are churches being relieved by the CARES law at all?

Without question, churches are companies. Unlike a hair salon or restaurant, the 1st Amendment protects the churches’ independence from government regulations and taxes.

So, when times get tough and parishioners’ donations are falling, why should taxpayers work to save a church, no matter how noble its mission is?

Even church leaders are ambivalent about accepting PPP funds. In one Piece in Christianity Today last yearPastor Jon Costas asked, “Will accepting a large government grant rob our members the opportunity to make sacrifices and experience the Lord’s provision?”

His question gets to the heart of the establishment clause, which is designed to protect religions from dependence on government and the resulting perversion of the principles of their beliefs.

Gerald Gollin, Solana Beach