ESSER Funding Overview
ESSER Funding Overview
To help schools and students cope with the extreme challenges created by COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Education awarded three rounds of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. These grants were given to states to assist schools and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on elementary and secondary education and enabling disadvantaged students to fully participate in school activities. Each of these rounds of ESSER funds are authorized by separate legislative acts signed into law by the president:
- ESSER I funds - authorized as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020.[ii]
- ESSER II funds - authorized to address education disruptions caused by COVID-19 were included in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act in December 2020, and
- ESSER III funds followed in the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.[iii]
In total, Early Childhood Academy PCS (ECA) has received approximately $1.8M in COVID-19 recovery funds to support our school. The funds that ECA has received will support student learning acceleration and critical system supports.
ECA began using these grant funds in school year 2020 (FY20) and spent all remaining funds in Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21).
ESSER I Spend Plan
- $69.6K: Distance Learning/Technology. These funds supported additional student devices and internet connectivity.
- $32.9K: Recovery Learning/Operational Capacity. These funds supported purchasing of school safety supplies and equipment, training, and licenses for virtual learning platforms.
ECA’s award for ESSER II is $529K. ECA began spending the funds in Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) and will continue to spend throughout Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) as well.
ESSER II Spend Plan
- $401.5K: Safely Reopen School/Supplemental Staffing. These funds were allocated to support staffing costs for COVID-19 safety operations directly related to safely reopening school and maintaining physical health and safety. These funds also supported ECA in encouraging and incentivizing the return of identified staff to full-time, in-person work and to support the challenging tasks for which they are responsible.
- $113.5K: Technology and Related Supports for Students. These funds are supporting additional student devices and internet connectivity, purchasing of school safety supplies and equipment, training, licenses for virtual learning platforms and technical support for students.
- $14K: Intentional Strategies for Accelerating Learning. Teaching and learning and educator professional development. These funds will support curriculum materials and assessments, including the AppleTree Institute’s Every Child Ready coaching service, resources for math acceleration, professional development, etc.
ECA’s award for ESSER III is $1.1M. ECA has begun spending these funds in Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) and will continue to spend these funds in future fiscal years. To date, ECA has allocated $784.2K to ensure that we are able to maintain COVID19 safety operations, and that the students and the staff have the resources they need to support student success.
ECA will continue to work to engage stakeholders on the use of ESSER III funds over future years through convening workgroups of educators, parents, and school leaders, and issuing survey to the public on priorities for the use of ESSER funds. ECA posted its continued education plan (CEP) for public comment prior to finalizing the plan and submitting it to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) by June 30.
ECAPCS has strategically utilized federal stimulus funds, commonly referred to as Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, to support COVID-19 recovery and student and school needs during these unprecedented times.