FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Invests in Summer Learning and Enrichment Programs to Help Students Catch Up

Summer learning and enrichment programs can play a critical role in student success. From providing students opportunities to catch up academically from what they may have missed during the pandemic to providing channels for students to engage with their peers, friends, and caring adults, summer programs across the country are helping students recover and thrive. President Biden has invested significantly in expanding summer programs for students and families across the nation, because he knows it is an essential ingredient in student recovery and success. Through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP), states and districts received $122 billion to help schools reopen and help students catch up academically and access mental health supports, including by increasing summer programming. As a result, all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, are investing in summer learning and enrichment offerings, providing more opportunities for students – especially those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic – to benefit academically and socially from these programs.

Further elevating the importance of high-quality summer learning programs, President Biden has called on schools to use American Rescue Plan funds to provide high-quality summer learning programs – as well as tutoring and afterschool programs – at the scale needed to support, on average, an additional four months of learning gains in reading and math. Starting today, First Lady Jill Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona embark on a tour across the country to amplify that call and highlight how the Biden-Harris Administration is helping students catch up academically through summer learning programs supported by the American Rescue Plan.

Summer learning and enrichment programming is among the top strategies school districts are using to address missed instruction – and the American Rescue Plan is funding it. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan provided states and districts with $122 billion to help schools reopen and help students recover academically and access the mental health supports they need. States were also required to set aside over $1 billion in funding to invest in summer programs, because summer is an important time for students to reengage with their peers and teachers, catch up academically from missed instruction, and get the social, emotional, and mental health supports they need.

  • Local school districts plan to spend $27 billion of American Rescue Plan funds on academic recovery. According to a June analysis by Future Ed, school districts across the country plan to spend $27 billion on academic recovery, second only to investments in staffing to help students recover from the pandemic and thrive. The American Rescue Plan requires districts to spend 20% of their ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds on academic recovery, but according to the analysis, districts are planning to spend more than the required percentage – at least 25% – to help more students catch up academically. Districts are also planning to spend an additional 23% of their ARP funds on staffing – which will play a critical role in helping students recover academically and access the supports they need.
  • Summer learning is among the top strategies school districts are using to provide additional academic instruction. The Future Ed analysis also found that summer learning and afterschool programs make up nearly a quarter of the academic recovery investments. Its analysis projects