How to advocate for kids & families as your city & county plan for historic relief funds
How will your city and county spend millions in funding from the American Rescue Plan? You can advocate for kids and families – use this toolkit to help!
Ask your local government officials to prioritize low-income kids and families as they plan to spend out American Rescue Plan relief funds.
This simple toolkit will help you contact your local school board members and encourage them to put ARPA funds to work to reduce COVID risk to students and staff and keep our students learning in-person.
Contact our Director of Public Engagement, Adam Sotak, to find out how you can plug in and organize others in your local community through volunteering and advocacy.
NC Child hosted a webinar on July 9th to share strategies and examples to help you advocate for ARP spending priorities in your local community. Click below to watch the archived video in your preferred language.
NC Child hosted a special legislative update on June 4th to help advocates understand the scope and potential for American Rescue Plan funds in NC. Click below to watch the archived video in your preferred language.
American Rescue Plan Funds: What NC Nonprofits Need to Know, NC Center for Nonprofits
Impact of the American Rescue Plan on North Carolina, NC Justice Center
ARP Allotments to Local Educational Authorities, K-12 Emergency Relief Funds, NC Dept of Public Instruction
County Map of COVID-19 relief fund totals, NC Pandemic Recovery Office
American Rescue Plan hub for cities, NC League of Municipalities
American Rescue Plan hub for counties, NC Association of County Commissioners
Tapping COVID Relief Funds to Improve Youth Behavioral Health, Community Catalyst
American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Funding Updates for NC Local Governments, UNC School of Government
President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package known as the American Rescue Plan in March 2021. The American Rescue Plan allocates money for vaccines, schools, small businesses and anti-poverty programs such as an expanded child tax credit that will mean new monthly payments to many parents.
Every town, school district, and county in the state is receiving ARP funds that can be used for a broad range of things including financial assistance to families, small businesses, and nonprofits, offsetting local revenue losses due to the pandemic, making necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure, and more.
The large Metro cities in North Carolina will be receiving a total of about $680 million.
County governments in NC will receive a total of $2 billion.
Smaller towns and cities in North Carolina will receive a total of about $705 million.
Local NC school districts are receiving over $3.2 billion.
The larger Metro cities and all 100 counties in North Carolina will receive a set amount of money through the ARP. Look here to see how much your city and county will be receiving.
The hundreds of smaller municipalities are now applying to receive their distribution from the State within the next few months. Totals will vary widely based upon local population. The North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office (NC PRO) is helping distribute these funds.
Local school districts also receive a set amount of funds issued through the NC Department of Public Instruction. View estimated amounts here.
This summer and fall, city and county governments and local school boards will be making important decisions on how ARP funds should be spent. We encourage local elected leaders to initiate a deliberate and clear process that encourages community input. Funds do not have to be spent until the end of 2024 so while the needs are urgent, localities should not feel overly rushed to make these important spending decisions.
There are no set “rules” around what local towns and counties must do to allow for public comment and other input, however public votes must be held prior to allocating any ARP funds. We hope and encourage localities to create clear ways that advocates can have their voices and ideas heard. For example, the city of Greensboro has created an innovative portal where local residents can weigh in with their priorities for how ARP funds should be spent. Some local governments, like New Hanover County, already have detailed recommendations from staff about how ARP funds could be spent.
There are a broad range of services that ARP funding can be used for. It is important for advocates to understand that this funding is short-term, and often times will be best used for one-time expenditures (like installing a new HVAC system in a public building). However, advocates should also be aware of the many ways local ARP funding can be used to address racial inequities and promote more equitable and healthy communities moving forward. According to the US Treasury Department, some specific uses of funding include:
In an article from May 2021, the Brookings Institute talks about how local leaders should utilize ARP funds to stabilize, strategize, and organize. The process for community engagement around ARP funding can lay the ground work for long-lasting and productive coalition work at the local level.