Three Schools Get a Total of $73.5 Million; But Just These Three 

COVID-19, ARP AnalysisThree Schools Get a Total of $73.5 Million; But Just These Three 

Budget & Tax,  | Quick Take
Feb 26, 2021  | 4 min read | Print Article

In 2018 there were more than 4,000 postsecondary institutions in the United States. So we’re a bit puzzled by three highly specific grants of millions of dollars in the Education and Labor title of ARP. 

First up is Section 2006 for Gallaudet University and a primary and secondary school within Gallaudet. This section directs the spending of $19.25 million “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, including to defray expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll) and to provide financial aid grants to students, which may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance.” 

Next is Section 2008 for Howard University. This bill sets aside $35 million for Howard University “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, including to defray expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll) and to provide financial aid grants to students, which may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance.”  

So, same language, different school. Both of these schools are in the District of Columbia. One, Gallaudet, is the premiere institution for the deaf and hearing impaired. 

Finally we have Section 2009 for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. This school in Rochester, New York, also serving the deaf and hard of hearing receives $19.25 million “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, including to defray expenses associated with coronavirus (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff training, and payroll) and to provide financial aid grants to students, which may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance.” 

Again, the exact same language. But we have to ask, why these three schools specifically and not the thousands of other postsecondary institutions in the United States?  

Only two of the three U.S. schools which serve the deaf community are covered; sorry Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf. And nothing for the more than 150 institutions also noted for their programs for the deaf and hard of hearing. 

There are just over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States. But just one, Howard University, gets a specific grant in the ARP. We don’t know that its status as an HBCU is why Howard is getting this grant, of course. There are at least eight colleges and universities in the District of Columbia: American University, Catholic University, Gallaudet University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, Trinity Washington University and the University of the District of Columbia. There are also many, many outposts of other U.S. universities.  

The legislation grants more than $73 million for two universities in the District of Columbia and one in Rochester, New York. Two of these schools serve the deaf and hard of hearing. Nothing is specifically granted for other schools for the deaf. Nothing for other HBCUs. Nothing for other schools in the District. 

What’s going on here? 

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