Understanding Covid Relief Funds
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 (Local Education Agency) 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
ESSER I Allocations
What are ESSER II and ESSER III Funds?
- Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) II funds were enacted in December 2020 as part of the Federal CARES Act to help school districts recover from COVID-19 and support teaching and Learning.
- The American Rescue Plan Act passed on March 11, 2021, provided $122.7 billion in supplemental ESSER funding, known as the ESSER III fund. The SEAs are required to reserve their allocations to carry out activities: 5% to address learning loss, 1% for afterschool activities, and 1% for summer learning programs.
- The district applied for ESSER II funds January-March and will receive approximately 9,791,941.00 of which approximately ________________will pass through to Adams County Christian School and Cathedral. Once issued, ESSER II funds can be used through September 30, 2023. The district applied for ESSER III funds and received an allocation of 21,991,309.
- ESSER II and ESSER III funds are different than the original CARES Act funds enacted I March 2020 and have specific allowable uses.
How can ESSER II and ESSER III funds be used?
ESSER II and III funds are for one-time use. Allowable uses include:
- New efforts to address learning loss
- New improvements to school facilities
- Planning for long-term closures
- Addressing the unique needs of special populations
- Purchasing educational technology
- Providing summer learning and supplemental after-school programs
- Providing mental health services
- Conducting other necessary activities to maintain operational services
How is NASD proposing to use the ESSER II and ESSER III funds?