ESSER III Infomation
Q: What is ESSER III?
A: The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III funds are being provided under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, Public Law 117-2, enacted on March 11, 2021. Funds are intended to respond to the pandemic and address student learning loss as a result of COVID-19.
Q: Who decides how the funds are spent?
A: The District is currently considering suggestions from all stakeholders. These will be evaluated and prioritized by a task force that also includes members of the District Level Planning and Decision-Making Committee. Anyone can provide feedback through the survey linked at the top of this page.
Q: What can the funds be used for?
A: In addition to responding to the impact of lost instructional time, funds can be used to respond to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students, particularly those students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including students of low-income families, students of color, English learners, children with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, and migratory students.
Q: What are the biggest challenges in planning for the use of these funds?
A: One challenge is that these funds are one-time funds and can present a funding cliff when the grant period ends. This means that whatever we do, we have to plan for the funds to be unavailable after September 30, 2024 (unless we incorporate funds for extending the life of the grant beyond 2024). This is particularly an issue for any decisions about adding personnel. We will have to have a plan to either end the positions or absorb the position in the budget over time.
Another challenge in our planning is that we need to be aware that the "Hold Harmless" provision that we enjoyed this year will not be in effect next year. With the exception of this year, the District is funded based on student attendance or how many students show up each day. We believe it is important to plan for any possible disruption to our funding as a result of the pandemic so that we can maintain a constant level of staffing.