In a virtual summit hosted by the United States Department of Education on Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced that a sum of $81 billion from the relief package confirmed earlier this month has been diverted towards supporting the efforts of schools to re-open. 

He said, "I'm really proud to announce that starting today, states will begin receiving nearly $130 billion in school funding that we included in the American Rescue Plan. In fact, $81 billion of those dollars will be arriving today to those schools," while reiterating his relief package catchphrase "Help is on the way." 

Also Read: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says US COVID recovery 'strengthening'

In his statement, Biden mentioned the purpose of the allocated funds and said the financial push given to America's educational institutions is meant for the provision of improved sanitation and ventilation in the premises, ensuring continued employment of staff, hiring nurses and purchasing safety equipment like PPE kits. He further laid focus on the urgency of such actions by emphasising the mental health implications for the students, who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"I need states to move quickly to get these resources down to the school districts and put them to work," he said. The administration is releasing funding for schools as part of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, on Wednesday. The bill included $122 billion in relief for pre-K to 12 schools, and two-thirds of those funds -- totalling $81 billion -- "will be made available to states immediately," the Department of Education said in a statement.

Officials from the Department of Education, led by Miguel Cardona, said in a statement, "I need states to move quickly to get these resources down to the school districts and put them to work," he said. The administration is releasing funding for schools as part of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, on Wednesday. The bill included $122 billion in relief for pre-K to 12 schools, and two-thirds of those funds -- totalling $81 billion -- "will be made available to states immediately," while complementing the affirmations made by Biden. 

Also Read: President Joe Biden to review $3 trillion jobs package proposal this week

Cardona went on to emphasise the widening racial disparities in the US, which have seen a substantial spike in the pandemic. He mentioned the dipping numbers of non-white communities who are able to attend school and announced that 33% of the Latino and 28% of the Black students have had equivalent access to in-person education.

The department further announced that the allocated finances coming from the relief package are meant to assist the efforts of the schools to "get students back in the classroom safely for in-person learning, keep schools open once students are back, and address the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students."