WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech today applauded the U.S. Department of Education for the financial support provided to the U.S. territories and freely associated states (FAS) to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Over $172 million has been made available through the Education Stabilization Fund and the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund for the Outlying Areas to the governments, elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools, including students in the territories and the FAS. This important support was provided for under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (The CARES Act, P.L.116-136
“The funding made available today has very few bureaucratic strings attached and empowers education leaders to focus on doing what’s best for their students during this pandemic,” said U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. “The Administration is committed to the success of students in the insular areas, and it is my hope that this additional funding will provide the support needed to expand technological, distance learning, training, and long-term planning capabilities that will ensure learning continues.”
“We are pleased to see that such significant support for education has been provided to the territories and the FAS during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech. “Schools and administrators in the island areas will need to move quickly and judiciously to ensure that the funds are used effectively to meet all the needs of the public schools and students.”
For a more detailed breakdown of CARES Act funding provided through the Department of Education and for other Federal assistance provided to the U.S. territories and freely associated states during the coronavirus pandemic, visit the Office of Insular Affairs website at https://www.doi.gov/oia/covid19.
The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, @ASIIADomenech, and the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.