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 LEAS Updates & Deadlines

June 24, 2021

Superintendents, Charter School Directors and Tribal Education Leaders:

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  • June 24 is the deadline for all districts and state-chartered schools to sign and submit this assurance document to their ARP/ESSER III application. Doing so meets the U.S. Department of Education's requirement that all districts and state-chartered schools post and receive comment on a plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services. Reentry plans submitted last school year and approved by PED can be used if the district or state-chartered school received public comment and took those comments into consideration when developing the plan. If a district or state-chartered school did not receive public comment or did not take comments into consideration when developing a reentry plan last year, it will be required to develop an updated plan that meets the requirements outlined in the American Rescue Plan Act. Any district or state-chartered school that cannot meet today's deadline should contact your Student, School and Family Support Bureau contact for assistance.

Dates & Deadlines
Check out the Public Education Calendar and access previous e-blasts here.

TODAY: Deadline to post existing Reentry Plans on your website and to paste the link into your ARP ESSER III Sharepoint Application (see above and 6/8 e-blast for details)

July 5: Deadline to submit RFAs for supplemental open enrollment courses (see 6/10 e-blast for details)

July 9: Extended deadline for recommendations for the NM Talent Pool (see 6/10 e-blast for details)

July 12: Deadline to submit RFAs for MasteryConnect (see 6/10 e-blast for details)

Aug. 31: Data required by School Athletics Equity Act due to the Public Education Department (see 6/22 e-blast for details)


 LEAs Updates and Deadlines

June 17, 2021

Superintendents, Charter School Directors and Tribal Education Leaders:

Inspire 2021: AIR
Today is Day 2 of the Public Education Department's annual conference, Inspire 2021: AIR. The theme for today is Special Education Summit. Enrollment will remain open all week so anyone deciding to join a session at the last minute may do so. The virtual conference is open to parents, families, other stakeholders and educators. Coming up:

  • Innovate Friday
  • Innovate Saturday

EXTERNAL: Child Tax Credit
Monday (June 21) is Child Tax Credit Awareness Day. Help spread the word about the largest child tax credit ever, which has the potential to cut child poverty in half. The Child Tax Credit, part of the American Rescue Plan, is here to help families raising children make ends meet. Some details:

  • Normally, tax relief for the year comes the following year when you file your taxes. This year, you’ll start getting the money in July.
  • The Child Tax Credit has been expanded to $3,000 per child 6-17 years old and $3,600 per child under 6.
  • All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent. 
  • Roughly 39 million households – covering 65 million children (nearly 90% of children in the United States) – will automatically receive the new child tax credit.
  • Starting July 15 and through the rest of the calendar year, payments will be monthly (via direct deposit for 80% of families and through the mail for the others) – at $250 per child between 6-17 or $300 per child under 6.
  • The IRS has launched a simplified online tool which will allow families not automatically enrolled in the program to receive the Child Tax Credit – more information at ChildTaxCredit.gov.
These materials provide more information and ideas for getting the message to our communities:
EXTERNAL: Internships Available
Students and recent graduates are encouraged to apply for paid summer Internships with the State of New Mexico. The New Mexico State Personnel Office, the Northern Area Local Workforce Development Board and New Mexico Workforce Connection have dozens of internship opportunities from engineering to public relations. These openings pay from $12.72 to $20.10 an hour based on the education level of the intern. These summer internships will end when the student returns to school. All internship openings are listed on the State Personnel Office's website. Read the complete news release here.

High-Quality Professional Learning Marketplace List 
The Public Education Department is providing this High-Quality Professional Learning (HQPL) Marketplace List as a resource and guide for teachers, schools and districts to select high-quality professional learning programs that were vetted for demonstration of evidence-based strategies and results. The HQPL Marketplace List currently includes provider professional learning programs that support orientation and on-going implementation of high-quality instructional materials (HQIM). Questions? Katya.Gothie@state.nm.us or Anthony.Burns@state.nm.us.  


REMINDERS:

  • The final statewide meeting this school year for Equity Council leads is from 3:30-5 p.m. todayRegister here.
  • The extended deadline is July 9 to nominate your best secondary teachers for the New Mexico Talent Pool. Download the recommendation form here.

Dates & Deadlines
Check out the Public Education Calendar here.

TODAY: Last statewide meeting of the school year for Equity Council leads

June 15-18: Virtual Summer Learning Summit on Pathway2Careers, a new, free math curriculum resource


June 16-19: PED's Inspire 2021 conference titled AIR: Advocate, Innovate, Renew (see above)

June 18: Deadline to submit dyslexia screener data to PED

June 18: Deadline to submit NM Thrive application 

June 22: FCC listening session for tribal leaders on the Emergency Broadband Benefit (see 6/15 e-blast for details)

June 23: Deadline to enroll in the LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) in-depth learning program 

June 24: Deadline to post existing Reentry Plans on your website and to paste the link into your ARP ESSER III Sharepoint Application (see 6/8 e-blast for details)

July 5: Deadline to submit RFAs for supplemental open enrollment courses (see 6/10 e-blast for details)

July 9: Extended deadline for recommendations for the NM Talent Pool (see 6/10 e-blast for details)

July 12: Deadline to submit RFAs for MasteryConnect (see 6/10 e-blast for details)​

 LEAs Updates & Deadlines

June 22, 2021​

Superintendents, Charter School Directors and Tribal Education Leaders:​

2021-22 Assessments
This memo includes extensive information about 2021-22 assessment requirements, including a draft version of the 2021-22 Assessment Schedule to assist with local planning. The draft will be finalized in July after national Advanced Placement (AP) dates become available. The memo also includes reminders to designate a District Test Coordinator and District Technology Coordinator for access into secure testing portals and official Assessment Bureau business.


School Athletics Equity Act
In compliance with the School Athletics Equity Act, each public school with athletics for grades 7-12 is required to collect and submit prior-year data including team enrollment, coaches, income and expenditures. This information is due to the Public Education Department by Aug. 31.The complete memo, which should be shared with athletic directors and other appropriate staff, is available here. Questions? Gregory Frostad at gregory.frostad2@state.nm.us or Jimmie Thompson at jimmie.thompson@state.nm.us.


EXTERNAL: School Safety
The U.S. Department of Education, in coordination with other federal agencies, is sponsoring a series of webinars on community violence intervention strategies designed to reduce gun violence and support strong communities. The first event is at 10 a.m. MDT Wednesday (June 23). Space is limited and registration is required. Register here.


REMINDERS:

  • The deadline is Wednesday (June 23) for educators to enroll in the LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) in-depth learning program. The intensive, two-year professional learning opportunity consists of eight units of in-depth learning through a blended model of online and real-time distance professional learning. To participate, complete a survey here and download and complete this enrollment spreadsheet to submit by June 23. This memo provides more detailed information about the dyslexia screener trainings and the LETRS® training.
  • The extended deadline is July 9 to nominate your best secondary teachers for the New Mexico Talent Pool. Download the recommendation form here.

Dates & Deadlines
Check out the Public Education Calendar and access previous e-blasts here.

TODAY: FCC listening session for tribal leaders on the Emergency Broadband Benefit (see 6/15 e-blast for details)

June 23: Deadline to enroll in the LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) in-depth learning program 

June 24: Deadline to post existing Reentry Plans on your website and to paste the link into your ARP ESSER III Sharepoint Application (see 6/8 e-blast for details)

July 5: Deadline to submit RFAs for supplemental open enrollment courses (see 6/10 e-blast for details)

July 9: Extended deadline for recommendations for the NM Talent Pool (see 6/10 e-blast for details)

July 12: Deadline to submit RFAs for MasteryConnect (see 6/10 e-blast for details)​


 2021 Legislative Update

March 23, 2021

SESSION ENDS WITH SIGNIFICANT GAINS FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION

WINNING INVESTMENTS INCLUDE FAMILY INCOME INDEX, COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s education moonshot got a $400 million boost during the just-concluded legislative session, including more than $200 million that will go directly to school districts and charter schools and $215 million to fund various innovative, evidence-based initiatives.

“In 2019, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham promised a moonshot to create the nation’s best cradle-to-career education system. The New Mexico Legislature has provided much-needed fuel as we continue on that historic trajectory,” Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said.

K-12 education highlights from the just-concluded legislative session include:

  • The Family Income Index, funded with $30 million over the next two years, would target money toward schools serving the most economically disadvantaged students for evidence based interventions.
  • The community schools program would expand with a $5 million appropriation for FY22 and an additional $20 million to be used in future years.
  • In support of the governor’s ongoing priority of improving education for Native American students, the legislature appropriated $10.6 million for tribal education departments, tribal libraries and tribally based Native American language programs.
  • New Mexico will end a longstanding and controversial practice of reducing state funding based on Impact Aid to districts, including those with high proportions of Native American students.
  • Voters will decide on a constitutional amendment to tap the Land Grant Permanent Fund to provide reliable funding for early childhood and K-12 education.

The budget also includes $45 million to restore funding that was reduced during the 2020 first special session.

FAMILY INCOME INDEX

The Legislature approved Senate Bill 17, creating an innovative tool to pinpoint schools serving large low-income populations in order to direct additional funding to them. The Public Education Department first proposed the Family Income Index in November, and it became one of the governor’s priority bills. The bill received a $30 million, two-year appropriation to support math and reading interventions and other student-support strategies.

COMMUNITY SCHOOL STRATEGY

The Legislature signified its support for the community school strategy with a $5 million appropriation for FY22 and $20 million more after that. Currently, the state funds 33 community schools. The new funding will allow more New Mexico schools to adopt this strategy, which involves schools partnering with the local community to provide high-quality resources and other supports to help mitigate barriers to school success.

IMPACT AID

House Bill 6 gives districts with federally impacted land access to more than $60 million to better serve their students. It also requires transparency and accountability for the use of discretionary funds. A $35 million appropriation from the general fund added to a $31 million appropriation from the special session holds districts harmless from the impact of this change in policy.

This measure ends the longstanding practice of reducing state funding by an amount equal to 75% of federal funding received by school districts for impact aid — including many districts serving high proportions of Native American students. The governor identified it as a priority bill and part of her administration’s response to the Martinez and Yazzie Consolidated Lawsuit.

PERMANENT FUNDING

Voters will decide in November whether the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund should be tapped annually to access more than $100 million for use in K-12 and early childhood education. The Legislature adopted House Joint Resolution 1, sending the proposed constitutional amendment to the ballot.

“This is an opportunity to impact generations of New Mexico students,” Secretary Stewart said. “Assuming voters agree, New Mexico’s children would be protected from the boom-bust cycles of state revenues with a reliable and fixed source of annual revenue. This would mitigate concerns that sound, evidence-based programs that work one year would be curtailed the next because of budget shortfalls.”

CULTURALLY SENSITIVE, INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

  • The Public Education Department would hire a new liaison to oversee the educational needs of Black children under House Bill 43, the Black Education Act. Provisions of the act would be carried out over the next few years.
  • The Special Education Ombud Act, House Bill 222, provides resources to help families better advocate for the needs of students with disabilities.
  • Students could not be penalized for wearing traditional hairstyles like dreadlocks or braids or religious coverings under House Bill 29/Senate Bill 80.
  • The governor has already signed into law House Bill 52, which codifies in statute the Bilingual Multicultural Education Advisory council.

EDUCATOR WORKFORCE

  • Gov. Lujan Grisham has signed House Bill 22, amending the Grow Your Own Teachers Act to expand who qualifies for the scholarship program, which is designed to increase the number of teachers in the state.
  • House Bill 188 would require the Public Education Department to create a license endorsement in secondary computer science. All licensed teachers could qualify by demonstrating sufficient content knowledge.
  • Scholarships totaling $5 million would be available for educators who want to apply for National Board Certification. The funding is included in the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 2.
  • The General Appropriations Act also includes:
    • $1 million for teacher residencies
    • $1 million for New Mexico’s new educator evaluation program, Elevate NM
    • $1 million for mobile panic buttons for classroom teachers

MORE SCHOOL TIME

Senate Bill 40 gives districts and charter schools more flexibility in implementing the K-5 Plus and Extended Learning Time programs. The measure was amended to remove a requirement that all districts adopt the programs. Additionally, House Bill 2, the General Appropriations Bill, includes a $70 million non-recurring appropriation for a pilot project on extended learning using equivalent hours.

“Increasing the time students spend learning is a proven strategy to improve academic outcomes. Although the Legislature decided against making these two programs mandatory, we appreciate the new flexibilities afforded by SB40 and the pilot project outlined in HB2,” Stewart said. “Because of these important changes, we fully expect many more districts and schools to adapt an extended school year program in the coming year as a powerful tool to accelerate learning as students return to full in-person learning.”

BY-THE-NUMBERS

$220 million: Increase in funding for the State Equalization Guarantee, the formula used to distribute funds to districts and charter schools. Includes:

  • $45 million to remove a credit the state was taking for funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act
  • $35 million to hold districts harmless from impact aid credits
  • $80 million for the K-5 Plus and Extended Learning Time programs
  • $5 million for instructional materials

$135 million: One-time expenditures for priorities of the governor, including:

  • $25 million for community schools
  • $30 million for the Family Income Index over two years
  • $1.5 million for cyber security
  • $20.9 million for Impact Aid liability to the state support reserve fund
  • $15.5 million for state support reserve fund to increase aggressive approach to unit value
  • $2 million for data systems upgrades
  • $25 million for statewide digital access and broadband initiatives
  • $10.6 million for Tribal Remedy Framework
  • $3 million for Career Technical Education

$79 million: One-time expenditures for priorities of the Legislature, including:

  • $70 million for extended learning and equivalent hours pilot
  • $5 million for National Board scholarships for teachers
  • $1 million for teacher residencies
  • $1 million for educator evaluation
  • $1 million for mobile panic buttons
  • $400,000 for Black Education Act
  • $500,000 to supplement STEM programs​


 SCHOOLS IN 25 COUNTIES MAY LAUNCH HYBRID MODEL SEPT. 8

Sept. 3, 2020

SANTA FE — School districts and charter schools in 25 New Mexico counties have been cleared to begin a hybrid mode of learning that allows students from pre-K through fifth grade to come to school two days a week wearing face masks and staying at least 6 feet away from others.

A complete list of districts and charters that have cleared strict safety reopening criteria from the state Public Education Department and may choose to reopen as soon as Tuesday, Sept. 8, in the hybrid mode will be posted on the PED website Friday.

Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart made the announcement at a virtual news conference Thursday afternoon, based on local public health conditions and school readiness to protect students and staff from the virus and to respond rapidly if a case emerges.

“New Mexico educators from the Public Education Department to the classroom remain committed to two overarching goals: Protecting the health and safety of children and staff and maximizing the number of in-person learning opportunities,” Stewart said. “We have been preparing for this extensively, and I’m confident we will execute a safe in-person return for all communities that choose to do so.”

The hybrid model means cohorts of students rotate between remote and in-person learning, significantly reducing the number of students together in a classroom at the same time in order to maintain social distancing and allow schools time to thoroughly clean between groups.

The hybrid model is being phased in beginning Tuesday for children in grades pre-K through five in approved districts and charters. (Sixth-graders may also return if that’s the highest grade in a school.) Older students will remain in remote learning for at least the near-term future no matter the status of their district or charter.

School districts and charters that opened in August were required to use a remote-only instructional model. To move from remote to hybrid learning beginning next week, districts and charters had to meet specific safety criteria, including:

  • They must be in counties with test positivity rates and new daily case rates that follow below the thresholds established by the state Department of Health. This map shows those counties in green.
  • They must have a PED-approved plan demonstrating that their instructional, social-emotional and family engagement processes are documented and established; and,
  • They must provide assurances that they’ve established comprehensive safety and response protocols, including COVID-Safe Practices for students and educators, provision of personal protective equipment, cleaning procedures and rapid response procedures in the event of a positive COVID-19 case.

Districts and charters can be in green counties but still not be ready to move to the hybrid mode if they are still finalizing their reentry plan or if their local school board or charter leaders deem a return to be unsafe. Schools and charters located in counties that are colored red, orange or yellow must remain closed for now to in-person learning even if they have an approved reentry plan. The Public Education Department will continue working with those districts to ensure successful delivery of remote learning in the interim.

Once granted official eligibility to return to in-person instruction by the state Public Education Department, local districts and charters decide whether to move to the hybrid mode or remain in an exclusively remote-learning model for now.

“In short, PED is not requiring any district or charter school to open for in-person learning. PED stands ready to assist every district, charter and school in the state in meeting the strict safety requirements and preparation efforts if those local entities decide they want to move into the hybrid model,” Stewart said. “In addition to having an approved reentry plan, each school district and charter school needs to provide assurance that they can effectively implement COVID Safe Practices. To that end, PED along with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, National Guard and local fire are available to provide on-site guidance and support to ensure that schools are implementing COVID Safe Practices properly so that educators and students are as safe as possible.”

New Mexico’s school reentry planning process has been months in the making and involved close coordination with school districts and local leaders at every step. A school reentry task force provided detailed guidance later finalized by Stewart and his executive team.

Each district or charter was required to submit a reentry plan showing protocols in place to protect students and staff from the virus and to respond rapidly if a case emerges. PED officials continue reviewing plans based on this rubric and working closely with districts to address deficiencies and get their plans approved.

School districts and charters across the state have already purchased more than 3.5 million masks, and PED has worked closely with the state Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management to distribute another 700,000 in the next two weeks.

PED has also:

  • Offered additional training to administrators and their designees to ensure all schools are fully prepared to engage in rapid responses where positive COVID-19 cases occur;
  • Established enforcement and inspection protocols to be sure schools follow their reentry plans;
  • Created this portal where anyone concerned that a school is not following COVID-Safe Practices may report the incident anonymously.

“New Mexico owes a debt of gratitude to the outstanding educators who were forced to adapt quickly to remote learning in the spring and who must now adapt again to a hybrid mode. Their commitment and hard work throughout this project is nothing short of heroic. With their help, our focus will continue to be the effective delivery of high-quality education to our children during this pandemic,” Stewart said.

“We are also grateful to all New Mexicans who, by wearing masks and practicing social distancing, have reversed the dangerous upward trend in virus cases we saw this summer. In doing so, they made it possible for our youngest learners to return to school. We must keep up that effort on their behalf and on behalf of the older students still waiting for their turn,” Stewart said.


 LEAs Updates & Deadlines

​June  15, 2021

Superintendents, Charter School Directors and Tribal Education Leaders:

Inspire 2021: AIR
Enrollment will remain open all week for the Public Education Department's annual conference, Inspire 2021: AIR. This means educators, parents, families and other stakeholders can join the virtual conference at any time Wednesday through Saturday to attend sessions of special interest. Nearly 600 people have already enrolled. The conference begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham delivering a welcome address. The daily themes are:

  • Wellness Wednesday
  • Special Education Summit Thursday
  • Innovate Friday
  • Innovate Saturday
Click here to learn more and to enroll through the Canvas learning management system platform.

Licensure Update
The current processing time for complete licensure applications is 20 days. That and other important information for educators seeking new or renewed licenses is available in this informational flier from the PED's Licensure Bureau. It also includes helpful links.


21st Century Community Learning Centers
The SY2021-2026 Request for Proposals for the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers is under evaluation. Meanwhile, due to broad interest, this grant program will soon bring online other opportunities for out-of-school-time programs. 
The program provides students exceptional out-of-school time learning and developmental experiences throughout the state. Learning centers can be in elementary or secondary schools or similarly accessible facilities. They provide a range of high-quality services outside the traditional learning day or during periods when school is not in session. The learning centers foster student achievement through programming that complements and reinforces content introduced during the traditional learning day, and the 21st CCLC instructors provide innovative, interactive, evidence-based learning opportunities in a safe and structured environment. More information about the program is available here and here.


LETRs Enrollment Deadline
The deadline is Wednesday, June 23, for educators to enroll in the LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) in-depth learning program. The intensive, two-year professional learning opportunity consists of eight units of in-depth learning through a blended model of online and real-time distance professional learning. These trainings will be led by certified LETRS® trainers. Each unit takes about 10-12 hours to complete. This includes online training, reading of the text, and application in the classroom to include guided reflection on practice. This professional learning opportunity will support teachers in developing additional skills to master the fundamentals of reading instruction. To participate, complete a survey here and download and complete this enrollment spreadsheet to submit by June 23. 
This memo provides more detailed information about the dyslexia screener trainings and the LETRS® training.


Equity Council Update
The final statewide meeting of New Mexico Equity Council leads for this school year will be from 3:30-5 p.m. Thursday, June 17Equity Council leads should register here. These meetings are intended to support and enrich the expertise of district and charter school Equity Council leads. 


EXTERNAL: Music Resources
The Roswell Symphony Orchestra has created several virtual events to replace its annual Young Person's Concert and invites music educators around the state to use them as classroom resources:


EXTERNAL: Tribal Listening Session
The Federal Communications Commission's Office of Native Affairs and Policy will hold a tribal listening session at noon (MDT) Tuesday (June 22) regarding the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. Registration should be completed by sending an email with name, contact information and tribal affiliation to JuneSessionEBB@fcc.gov. Registering will allow full interactive participation via WebEx. The listening session will also be streamed live, but those watching will have to submit questions via email. This session is for tribal leaders, organizations and outreach partners to learn about the EBB Program, provide feedback and ask questions. An outreach toolkit can be viewed and downloaded here. Questions? Derik Goatson, derik.goatson@fcc.gov or 202-418-1981.


REMINDERS:


Dates & Deadlines
Check out the Public Education Calendar here.

June 15-18: Virtual Summer Learning Summit on Pathway2Careers, a new, free math curriculum resource

June 16-19: PED's Inspire 2021 conference titled AIR: Advocate, Innovate, Renew (see above)

June 17: Last statewide meeting of the school year for Equity Council leads (see above)


June 18: Deadline to submit dyslexia screener data to PED

June 18: Deadline to submit NM Thrive application 

June 22: FCC listening session for tribal leaders on the Emergency Broadband Benefit (see above)

June 23: Deadline to enroll in the LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) in-depth learning program (see above)

June 24: Deadline to post existing Reentry Plans on your website and to paste the link into your ARP ESSER III Sharepoint Application (see 6/8 e-blast for details)

July 5: Deadline to submit RFAs for supplemental open enrollment courses (see 6/10 e-blast for details)

July 9: Extended deadline for recommendations for the NM Talent Pool (see 6/10 e-blast for details)

July 12: Deadline to submit RFAs for MasteryConnect (see 6/10 e-blast for details)​


 Important ARPA Info

​June 11, 2021​

Superintendents, Charter School Directors and Tribal Education Leaders:​


Please excuse this off-cycle communication in order to share with you as quickly as possible the following information:

Per the regulations outlined in the American Rescue Plan Act, the U.S. Department of Education requires all LEAs to post and receive comment on a plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services. To meet this requirement, LEAs must sign and upload this assurance document to their ARP/ESSER III application no later than June 24.
  
The assurance document requires that LEAs post the plan on their website and receive public comment on the plan by June 24. Reentry plans submitted last school year and approved by PED can be used for this purpose if the LEA received public comment in the development of that plan and took those comments into consideration when developing the plan. Last year’s reentry plans do not have to meet all the requirements outlined in the American Rescue Plan Act. If an LEA did not receive public comment or did not take comments into consideration when developing their reentry plan last year, the LEA will be required to develop an updated plan that meets the requirements outlined in the American Rescue Plan Act.

For any LEA unable to meet the June 24 deadline, federal guidelines require that PED work with the LEA to support them to develop the plan and make it available for public comment in a timely manner.

If you have any questions please reach out to your SSFS contact for assistance. Title I Staff – New Mexico Public Education Department (state.nm.us)

For districts that will be developing new plans, here are some examples of Reentry Plans. (NOTE: These are for illustrative purposes only. PED has not yet verified that each of these plans meets every requirement outlined in the American Rescue Plan Act):