Since the start of COVID-19, school districts across the country have been significantly impacted by unpredicted change. There is now a necessity for technology in the classroom to keep learning alive. A huge problem districts are facing is how they can financially support changes that need to be made.
Earlier this year ESSER III funds were provided to help school districts solve that problem. We want to help you get a better understanding of what these funds are and how you can use it in your district.
Top 3 things to Know About Your District’s ESSER Funds
- The American Rescue Plan Act was passed earlier this May providing 122.7 billion dollars in supplemental funding’s. This is the largest allocation of money for school districts, they are expected to receive twice as much as the ESSER II funds provided.
- Two thirds of the funds are available to states immediately as of May 11, and the rest of the funds will be available after states submit ESSER implementation plans.
- Up to 80% of the funds available can be used towards schools’ needs and challenges with technology that are a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes purchasing educational technology like hardware, software, and connectivity as well as assistive technology or adaptive equipment.
Let’s dive in deeper.
ESSER III funds can be used for other advancements outside of the technology realm. This includes accelerating building system upgrades, renovations and construction changes to support social distancing in schools, and implementing facilities improvements to support remote learning.
2.7 billion dollars of the ESSER III funding that is specifically for private schools. The department of education will not be disbursing the private school budget like the rest of the funding. This funding will go out to private schools through governors.
Additionally, there are deadlines for using ESSER funding that are important to note.
|ESSER I||End of September 2022|
|ESSER II||End of September 2023|
|ESSER III||End of September 2024|
From the updated FAQ released on May 26th from the Ohio DEO,
“May ESSER and GEER funds be used to improve cybersecurity?
Yes. If a school, LEA, or State is improving cybersecurity to better meet educational and other needs of students related to preventing, preparing for, or responding to COVID-19, it may use ESSER or GEER funds. For example, if an LEA needs to increase its use of technology, such as for potential temporary shifts to hybrid learning if COVID-19 cases arise, expanded cybersecurity needs to facilitate that activity may also be addressed using ESSER or GEER funds.
May an SEA or LEA use ESSER and GEER funds to develop or implement an innovative approach to providing instruction to accelerate learning and mitigate the effects of lost instructional time for those students most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes. An SEA or LEA may use ESSER and GEER funds to develop or implement an innovative approach to providing instruction to accelerate learning and mitigate the effects of lost instructional time for students most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
For more information on how to use your ESSER Funds for solutions like Classroom A/V, Cybersecurity, Technology Coaches, Helpdesk Technicians, and Online Professional Learning, download our infographic, which provides validation for how each solution applies to application questions.
“Guide to ESSER Funding for Ohio.” Welcome, www.curriculumassociates.com/products/i-ready/ohio-esser-ii-funds-abm?utm_source=ABM_Google&utm_medium=search&utm_content=ESSER&utm_campaign=7015b0000033GAZ&gclid=CjwKCAjwy42FBhB2EiwAJY0yQoBJYzGVZBycvdVKVp7cmbuRwjQQgsAIJTmcjQ4Boeb8tnSsL-2-jRoCKmoQAvD_BwE.
U.S. Department of Education Washington, D.C. 20202. Frequently Asked Questions Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Programs Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Programs. May 2021, dataserver.lrp.com/DATA/servlet/DataServlet?fname=ESSER+GEER+Use+of+Funds+Guidance.pdf.