The United States’ money tree still has $122 billion in funding available to all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Yesterday, April 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released a template for the application states must submit before USDOE will release remaining American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) fund dollars. States are required to submit their plans to USDOE for approval.
According to the template’s instructions, each state education agency (SEA) must address all requirements listed in the template. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
3. Identifying Needs of Underserved Students: Describe your Stateâs 2-3 highest priority academic, social, emotional, and/or mental health needs for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year (if applicable) and for the 2021-2022 school year related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on each of the following student groups:
i. Students from low-income families,
ii. Students from each racial or ethnic group (e.g., identifying disparities and focusing on underserved student groups by race or ethnicity),
iii. Gender (e.g., identifying disparities and focusing on underserved student groups by gender),
iv. English learners,
v. Children with disabilities (including infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (âIDEAâ)),
vi. Students experiencing homelessness,
vii. Children and youth in foster care,
viii. Migratory students, and
ix. Other groups disproportionately impacted by the pandemic that have been identified by the SEA (e.g., youth involved in the criminal justice system, students who have missed the most in-person instruction during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years, students who did not consistently participate in remote instruction when offered during school building closures, and LGBTQ+ students).
1. SEA Consultation: Consistent with the ARP ESSER requirements, describe how the SEA engaged in meaningful consultation with stakeholders, and incorporated input into its plan, including, but not limited to:
iii. Tribes (if applicable);
iv. civil rights organizations (including disability rights organizations);
v. school and district administrators (including special education administrators);
vii. charter school leaders (if applicable);
viii. teachers, principals, school leaders, other educators, school staff, and
their unions; and
ix. stakeholders representing the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children and youth in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students.
The description must include how the SEA provided the public the opportunity to provide input in the development of the plan, a summary of the input (including any letters of support), and how the SEA took such input into account.
How the LEA will ensure that the interventions it implements, including but not limited to the interventions under section 2001(e)(1) of the ARP Act to address the academic impact of lost instructional time, will respond to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students, and particularly those students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including students from low-income families, students of color, English learners, children with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, children and youth in foster care, and migratory students.
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2. LEA Consultation: Describe how the SEA will, in planning for the use of ARP ESSER funds, ensure that, consistent with the ARP ESSER requirements], its LEAs engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders, including, but not
iii. school and district administrators (including special education administrators); and
iv. teachers, principals, school leaders, other educators, school staff, and their unions.
The LEA must also engage in meaningful consultation with each of the following to the extent present in or served by the LEA:
ii. civil rights organizations (including disability rights organizations); and
iii. stakeholders representing the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children and youth in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students.
The description must also include how the SEA will ensure that LEAs provide the public the opportunity to provide input in the development of the LEAâs plan for the use of ARP ESSER funds and take such input into account.
Contact Your School Division
Within 30 days of receiving ARP ESSER funds, the local education agency (LEA) is required to seek input from the community in advance of making its plan publicly available.
An LEA that receives ARP ESSER funds must, within 30 days of receiving the funds, make publicly available on its website a plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services. Before making the plan publicly available, the LEA must seek public comment on the plan.~ARP ESSER Fact Sheet
In a perfect world, the LEA will take public input into consideration and integrate that input, as appropriate, into its plan. The process will be more than just a token checking off of a required step. But . . . We donât live in a perfect world.
Please contact your school district and request its plan, ask when it will be accepting public comments, and when it will receive the funds.
According to the template USDOE released this week:
Each SEA must submit to the Department by June 7, 2021, either: (1) its ARP ESSER plan or (2) the State requirements that preclude submission of the plan by that date and a date by which it will be able to submit its complete ARP ESSER plan.
To submit the SEAâs plan, please email the plan to your Program Officer at [State].OESE@ed.gov (e.g., Alabama.OESE@ed.gov).
In order to ensure transparency, the Department will post each plan on the Departmentâs website when it is received and will indicate each planâs approval status.
This template also allows States to fulfill the requirement of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (âCRRSAâ) Act ESSER II 6-month reporting requirement in section 313(f) of the CRRSA Act.
ARP and ESSER Funds
March 24, 2021, $81 billion of the $122 billion in fundingÂ from theÂ American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fundÂ was made available to all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. President Biden made this announcement at the National Safe School Reopening Summit that was hosted by USDOE. Â
Section 2001 of the ARP Act, titled âThe Secondary School Emergency Relief Fundâ, includes over $122 billion.
In addition to amounts otherwise available through the Education Stabilization Fund, there is appropriated to the Department of Education for fiscal year 2021, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $122,774,800,000, to remain available through September 30, 2023, to carry out this section.~American Rescue Plan of 2021 Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund
Section 2014 of the ARP Act, titled âFunding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Actâ, includes almost $3 billion in funding.
(a) Amounts For IDEA.âThere is appropriated to the Secretary of Education for fiscal year 2021, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriatedâ
(1) $2,580,000,000 for grants to States under part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
(2) $200,000,000 for preschool grants under section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; and
(3) $250,000,000 for programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities under part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
(b) General Provisions.âAny amount appropriated under subsection (a) is in addition to other amounts appropriated or made available for the applicable purpose.~American Rescue Plan of 2021
How Much Will Your School Division Receive?
According to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Elementary & Secondary Services:
A State must subgrant not less than 90 percent of its total ARP ESSER allocation to local educational~ARP ESSER Fact Sheet
agencies (LEAs) (including charter schools that are LEAs) in the State to help meet a wide range of needs
arising from the coronavirus pandemic, including reopening schools safely, sustaining their safe
operation, and addressing studentsâ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs resulting
from the pandemic. The State must allocate these funds to LEAs on the basis of their respective shares
of funds received under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) in
fiscal year (FY) 2020.
In addition, USDOE OESE stated:
Of the total amount allocated to an LEA from the Stateâs ARP ESSER award, the LEA must reserve at least 20~ARP ESSER Fact Sheet
percent of funds to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions and
ensure that those interventions respond to studentsâ social, emotional, and academic needs and address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented student subgroups (each major racial and ethnic group, children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, gender, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care).