Education & Childcare

Headline:

People who worked in public service for 10 years or more may be eligible to have their student debt canceled if they apply under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program before October 31, 2022.

Last-reviewed: 9am, Sept. 22, 2022

Key Resource: US Department of Education (ED) COVID-19 Information

Education

The Basics

  • The CDC’s COVID guidance for schools encourages vaccines and boosters but no longer recommends that students or school staff quarantine after a COVID exposure.
  • For information on a specific state’s K-12 education plan, check that state’s department of education.
  • The IRS has announced that teachers can deduct up to $300 of out-of-pocket classroom expenses when they file their 2022 taxes.
  • ED will cancel up to $20,000 in debt to Pell grant recipients and up to $10,000 in debt to non-Pell grant borrowers whose income is less than $125,000. ED also extended the federal student loan repayment pause through December 31, 2022.
  • Wearing a mask is still required in Head Start programs for people ages 2 and older.
  • SNAP recipients are automatically eligible for Head Start but are not guaranteed a spot.
  • Borrowers who work for non-profits, the military, or federal, state, Tribal, or local government may be eligible to have all of their student loans forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

The Breakdown

  • To address teacher vacancies, states are offering financial incentives, removing and relaxing requirements to recruit new teachers, and shortening school weeks. ED has also announced steps to address the teacher shortage as well as to offer evidence-based learning acceleration strategies for students using federal (ARP ESSER) funds.
  • The CDC’s COVID guidance for schools encourages vaccination but no longer recommends that students or school staff quarantine after they have a COVID exposure. In case of exposure, students and staff who remain asymptomatic should wear a mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5.
  • The Biden-Harris administration issued this fact sheet regarding efforts to prevent COVID-19 spread in schools during the 2022-23 school year.
  • ED advises that masking guidelines for schools and child care providers should follow masking guidelines for the communities in which they are located. Read the full letter for details.
  • The Keep Kids Fed Act extends universal free school meals through September 2022, but does not permit all students access to free school meals in school year 2022-23. For information on a specific state’s implementation of this program, check that state’s department of education or find general school meal FAQs here.
  • The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally funded, state-administered program that provides free meals and snacks to children up to age 18 at sites around the country. Click here for more information and to find an SFSP site. Many sites will cease operations in September.
  • ED has resources for teachers and administrators like the Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs.
  • Students with Long COVID may qualify for additional services under IDEA or Section 504. See this ED Long COVID Guide for additional information.
  • The Biden Administration will cancel up to $10,000 in federal student debt (or up to $20,000 for Pell grants recipients) for borrowers earning less than $125,000 (or $250,000 for married couples). ED will also extend the loan repayment pause through December 31, 2022. Borrowers can sign up at the Department of Education subscription page to be notified when the loan forgiveness application process officially opens. Visit studentaid.gov for additional information.
  • People who worked in public service for 10 years or more may be eligible to have their student debt canceled if they apply under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) before October 31, 2022. Find information about how to apply for loan forgiveness here.
  • The Biden Administration will provide almost $300 million in FY22 to help schools nationwide hire more school-based mental health professionals, among other mental health supports for students. Read the ED fact sheet here.
  • The IRS has increased to $300 the amount that teachers can deduct of out-of-pocket classroom expenses when they file their 2022 federal income tax returns next year. For more information, click here.
  • The Office of Head Start has issued Expectations for the 2022-2023 Program Year, which include an extension of the mask mandate and clarification that SNAP recipients are eligible for Head Start but are not guaranteed a spot in a program.

The Bottom Line

  • The Keep Kids Fed Act extends funding for schools to provide free meals to children through September 2022.
  • Federal student loan borrowers may be eligible for up to $20,000 in student debt relief. In addition, the Biden Administration has extended the student loan payment pause through December 31, 2022.