When Congress passed the CARES Act to respond to COVID-19, it tucked into the legislation $3 billion for governors to use on education as they see fit. This money is a rare opportunity for governors to do something big, bold, and lasting.
There will be no end to ways to spend the money: Education is expensive, and there will be plenty of claims on the money. Teacher pensions are depleted. School workers — bus drivers, support staff, administrators — all will want CARES funds to fill gaps in their budgets. Then there are public colleges that have lost out on tuition dollars.
Trying to spread the money among all these causes would mean not accomplishing much on any of them. There is other federal-support money to fill