Today: $81 Billion of $122 Billion Available; Contact Your School Division, Ask How It Will Use The Funds

Today, $81 billion of the $122 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund will be available to all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. President Biden will make this announcement later today, at the National Safe School Reopening Summit that is being hosted by the U.S. Department of Education.  

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 don’t 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.

ARP and ESSER Funds

Section 2001 of the ARP Act, titled “The Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund“, 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 “Funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act“, includes almost $3 billion in funding.

(a) Amounts For IDEA.—There is appropriated to the Secretary of Education for fiscal year 2021, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated—

(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.—Any 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
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 students’ 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.

~ARP ESSER Fact Sheet

In addition, USDOE OESE stated:

Of the total amount allocated to an LEA from the State’s ARP ESSER award, the LEA must reserve at least 20
percent of funds to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions and
ensure that those interventions respond to students’ 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).

~ARP ESSER Fact Sheet

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