ESSER includes three separate funds (ESSER I, II, and III) that part of various measures including the American Rescue Plan passed during the Covid-19 public health emergency. ESSER funding can be used for a wide range of activities, all of which support the effective operations of K-12 schools and the health and safety of students, educators, and staff.
ESSER grants are available to any Local Education Agency (LEA) applying for funds through their state. 20% of ESSER grants must be used to address learning loss through evidence-based interventions, responding to students’ social, emotional, and academic needs in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The remaining 80% can be used for the safe operation of schools and effective maintenance of the health and safety of students, educators, and staff, including “repairing and improving school facilities to reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards” and “improving indoor air quality”.
ESSER II funds must be obligated by 9/30/23 and expended by 1/28/24; ESSER III (ARP) funds must be obligated by 9/30/24 and expended by 1/28/25.
ESSER funding and remaining unallocated funds differ by state. The US Department of Education provides a Transparency Portal that shows funds awarded and percentage spent by state.
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