The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides funding to LEAs through Section 18003 of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, to address the impact of COVID-19 on elementary and secondary schools.
ESSER funds are available for obligations by LEAs on March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2022, which includes the Tydings period (General Education Provisions Act §421(b)(1)).
LEAs can use funds for the following activities:
- Any activity under ESEA, IDEA, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, or McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
- Coordination of preparedness and response efforts of the LEA with State, local, tribal and territorial public health departments, and other relevant agencies to improve responses to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus
- Provide principals and school leaders with resources to address the needs of the school
- Activities to address the unique needs of low-income students, children with disabilities, ELs, racial and ethnic minorities, homeless students, foster care youth (including outreach and service delivery)
- Develop and implement procedures and systems to improve the preparedness and response efforts of LEAs
- Training and PD for staff on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases
- Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities
- Planning for and coordinating long-term closures, including providing meals, technology for online learning to all students, carrying out requirements under IDEA, and ensuring other educational services can continue
- Purchasing of educational technology (hardware, software, connectivity) that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and classroom instructors including low-income students and students with disabilities
- Providing mental health services and supports
- Planning and implementing summer learning and supplemental afterschool programs (addressing needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, ELs, Migrants, Homeless students and Foster Care students)
- Other activities necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services and continuing to employ existing staff
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), was signed into law on December 27, 2020 and provides an additional $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II Fund).
ESSER II Fund awards to SEAs are in the same proportion as each State received funds under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year 2020.
American Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER
On Thursday, March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act was signed into law. It is an unprecedented $1.9 trillion package of assistance measures, including $122 billion for the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. Funds are provided to State educational agencies and school districts to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Nation’s students.
ARP ESSER Fund awards to SEAs are in the same proportion as each State received funds under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year 2020.