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Waiver Authority under the CARES Act

On April 27, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) released the “Report to Congress of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Recommended Waiver Authority under Section 3511(d)(4) of Division A of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”)”.  The Department conducted a review of the various programs administered by the Department to determine what, if any, waiver authorities to recommend to Congress to provide limited flexibility in assisting States and local educational agencies in meeting the needs of students and adults during the COVID-19 national emergency. 

Included in this report are three waivers to provide flexibilities to States as they implement the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) program under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  The waivers pertain to:

  • Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (or “Tydings Amendment”), which extends the period of availability of AEFLA grants to State educational agencies that are the eligible agency for AEFLA funds;
  • Section 222(a) of WIOA, which would allow States to adjust the maximum spending for State leadership and adjust the minimum for local grants and contracts; and
  • Section 107(d) of WIOA, which would exempt States from the requirement of seeking review and approval of local AEFLA applications by local workforce boards.

The full report is available at the following link: https://www2.ed.gov/documents/coronavirus/cares-waiver-report.pdf.  Congress will now deliberate on these waivers and take action accordingly.  We will pass along information as it becomes available.  Please also continue to visit the Department’s COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel page for updates. 

Thank you for the work you are doing to help ensure learning continues for all of your State’s students in this difficult time. 

Cheryl L. Keenan
Director, Division of Adult Education and Literacy
Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
U.S. Department of Education