Menendez Leads NJ Delegation Push for Trump Admin to Swiftly Disburse COVID-19 Higher Ed Funds

Menendez Leads NJ Delegation Push for Trump Admin to Swiftly Disburse COVID-19 Higher Ed Funds

Rutgers reported $200M loss due to coronavirus

 

NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today led the New Jersey congressional delegation’s call for the U.S. Department of Education to expedite delivery of emergency COVID-19 funding for eligible colleges and universities that continue to suffer tremendous losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, reported that it stands to lose $200 million “from fewer clinical revenues, enrollment decline and other fiscal challenges." 

“The crisis is causing substantial disruption to both students and institutional operations and finances,” the New Jersey lawmakers wrote to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. “The Department must act swiftly to make these enacted funds available so that colleges and universities can continue to operate and effectively respond to the ongoing crisis.”

The letter was cosigned by Sen. Cory Booker and Reps. Donald Norcross (N.J.-01), Jeff Van Drew (N.J.-02), Andy Kim (N.J.-03), Chris Smith (N.J.-04), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.-05), Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J.-06), Tom Malinowski (N.J.-07), Albio Sires (N.J.-08), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (N.J.-09) Donald Payne, Jr. (N.J.-10), Mikie Sherrill (N.J.-11) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.-12). 

The $2 trillion federal stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provides approximately $14 billion for institutions of higher education in New Jersey and across the country that are experiencing significant, severe and prolonged difficulties caused by the ongoing pandemic.

“With the second most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the nation and a strict stay-at-home order, students and their families are facing severe economic strains and have an even greater need for assistance,” the lawmakers added.  “[I]t is critical for the Department to provide institutions of higher education with as much flexibility and clarity as possible for distributing these funds on campus, both for emergency grants to students and to help cover institutional refunds, expenses, and other lost revenues, consistent with the provisions contained in the CARES Act.”  

The delegation argued that the funding will support the efforts of New Jersey colleges and universities at the forefront in the COVID-19 response, researching and developing new testing, treatment and vaccines, and that providing federal relief to them benefits the entire nation.

The full text of the letter is below and can be downloaded here.

 

Dear Secretary DeVos, 

On behalf of the State of New Jersey, we respectfully request that the Department of Education work swiftly to award funding appropriated under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for eligible institutions of higher education as they continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Act authorized within, allocates approximately $14 billion in funding to institutions of higher education to address the varying needs colleges and universities have endured due to the coronavirus.

Colleges and universities in New Jersey and across the country are experiencing significant and severe difficulties caused by the ongoing pandemic—challenges which are unlikely to subside in the near future. The crisis is causing substantial disruption to both students and institutional operations and finances. While the CARES Act begins to address the funding shortfalls and other challenges facing students and institutions, it is likely that a significant need still remains. 

The Department must act swiftly to make these enacted funds available so that colleges and universities can continue to operate and effectively respond to the ongoing crisis. Further, it is critical for the Department to provide institutions of higher education with as much flexibility and clarity as possible for distributing these funds on campus, both for emergency grants to students and to help cover institutional refunds, expenses, and other lost revenues, consistent with the provisions contained in the CARES Act.

Colleges and universities in New Jersey are at the forefront of the research and development of the testing, treatments, and vaccines for COVID-19. With the second most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the nation and a strict stay-at-home order, students and their families are facing severe economic strains and have an even greater need for assistance. The assistance provided in the CARES Act is vital to New Jersey’s students, staff, faculty, and researchers. Its swift implementation is essential not only to New Jersey, but to all states and higher education institutions across the nation.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this crucial matter. We look forward to working with you to maximize the benefits of the CARES Act through quick and orderly disbursement of funding to our students and campuses. 

Sincerely,

 

 

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