Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief (ESSER) Act

In response to the economic outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES I), the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA - CARES II), and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds were provided to states and school systems to support areas where the academic and non-academic components for school districts had the greatest impact due to COVID-19. As additional funding was provided, the intent of the funds was to support states and local school districts’ efforts to safely reopen schools, address significant gaps in learning, mental health, and the impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented student subgroups, and support measures of implementation that will continue to reduce the effects of COVID-19 on students and families. Funds can also be used for such purposes as

  • Coordinating with public health departments;
  • Conducting activities to address the needs of students from low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth;
  • Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity as well as assistive technology or adaptive equipment);
  • Summer learner, and supplemental after-school programs;
  • School facility repairs to reduce risk of virus transmission and support student health;
  • Implementing public health protocols including policies in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for school-reopening; and
  • Implementing activities to maintain the operation and continuity of services and to employ existing staff.