Along with the proposed Budget that Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled on Friday, January 8, 2021, his Administration also released proposed language to amend the statutory deadlines for use of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) that helped to pay for the state’s Learning Loss Mitigation Fund included in the 2020–21 Enacted Budget. The proposal amends state statute to incorporate the new deadline for the use of CRF money that was included in the latest federal COVID-19 relief package.
If adopted, local educational agencies (LEAs) would have until May 31, 2021, to use unspent CRF dollars. Districts that need the additional time beyond the original December 30, 2020, deadline would need to certify by March 1, 2021, that remaining CRF amounts will be used in compliance with federal law by May 31. The state would have the opportunity to sweep any unspent funds from LEAs after May 31 and reallocate them for other allowable uses in the State Budget.
At the end of 2020, the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act was enacted into law (see “Congress Reaches Agreement on Stimulus and 2021 Spending Plan” in the December 2020 Fiscal Report). The CRRSA Act enacted a new December 31, 2021, expenditure deadline for the CRF that was established by the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. By establishing a May 31, 2021, deadline for LEAs to use their share of CRF monies, the state Department of Finance gives itself time to sweep unspent dollars from LEAs and use the funds for other state needs.
The Newsom Administration is expected to push for the proposed language to be expedited through the State Budget process. We will share updated information as it becomes available. In the meantime, our COVID-19 Resources Table has been updated to include information about the new CRF deadline as well as the new Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds that were also included in the CRRSA Act.