Round Rock Educators Receive Small Grants

Round Rock Texas wasn't among the hardest hit areas during the COVID lock-downs last year, but their education system still look a lot of damage. Although Texas is one of the first states to fully open back up, one cannot downplay the negative impact of a closed society, especially as it pertains to what children and parents had to endure for so long. This is why the Round Rock ISD Partners in Education (PIE) Foundation is offering small grants to a variety of educators throughout the district.

As of right now, a lot of educators have already received these grants, and there are more to come. The first round of grant checks came on August 17, which gave a few dozen educators grants that averaged out to a little over $600 each. It's surely not a lot of money, but the total grant pool was only $125 thousand anyway, and this isn't government money from the CARES Act or any additional spending by Congress, so it's not expected to be a lot. This was privately raised money that started to go out last Wednesday.

Over $600 can do a great deal on an individual level. It can help buy groceries or pay needed bills. Or it can go to buying gas for travel or new equipment educators need in order to teach. Regardless of what it's spent on ultimately, educators in the Round Rock area are viewing it as a much welcomed gesture of good will from Round Rock PIE.

In total, over 50 educators will end up receiving these small grants over the course of the next week or so.

Experts Claim Smaller Grants Help More

There have been many billions of dollars handed out in grants over the course of the past year and a half. Since COVID hit America so hard, the government and many private organizations have been incredibly busy in handing out grants to thousands of different organizations and individuals. Many of these grants have been for $10,000 or more, though many economic experts claim that smaller grants are actually more beneficial to the overall economy. The reasoning is pretty simple: Smaller grants can reach far more many people than larger grants.

Larger grants are great for big businesses that need to keep their doors open and their operations running, according to some experts, but they don't really make as much of an impact. For instance, think about the restaurant grants that were given out in 2020 to failing businesses amid business closures. Only about one in every ten restaurants to apply got a (minimum) $10k grant. That means the other nine either closed down completely or were forced to fire people and downsize a lot. Though a lot of economists view that $10k as wasted money and claim that a "lottery system" is actually the opposite of beneficial to an entire economy.

The reasoning here is that while 10,000 might do a lot for one individual business, the sum is so large that the criteria for receiving the grant usually excludes the vast majority of businesses. For instance, businesses had to be minority-owned, preferably black-owned, and they had to show hardship outside the realm of the business; e.g. they had to prove they had no other means of funding. This meant that only a very select few businesses received the grant money. Though if every needy business got $1,000 in order to pay a bill, to help make payroll, etc, then more businesses could have been saved.

Economists are looking at the macro implications here of business as a stable economy, not the micro trends of individual businesses. Many believe that a bunch of downsized, struggling restaurants are better for the economy once it re-opens than a few lucky vibrant restaurants. That's because the restaurants that have fallen on hard times can pick back up, hire more employees and become whole again a lot quicker than a new business can be created from scratch. Governments picking winners and losers has always been a thing in America, but the fact that they kept this practice up during a time where everyone was struggling is something that will have long-term negative implications on America's economy, according to some.

So while these Round Rock grants are not for a lot of money, they actually reached a whole lot of people, and now all of those many different individuals can put this money toward things that are urgent in their lives, which is going to help them tremendously.

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