Coronavirus Emergency Relief Funds
In 2020 and 2021, Congress passed three stimulus bills that provided nearly $190.5 billion to the Elementary and Secondary Emergency Education Relief (ESSER) Fund. States receive funds based on the same proportion that each state receives under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Title-IA. States must distribute at least 90% of funds to local education agencies (LEAs) based on their proportional share of ESEA Title I-A funds. States have the option to reserve 10% of the allocation for emergency needs as determined by the state to address issues responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed on March 27, 2020, provided $13.5 billion to the ESSER Fund. Please click HERE to view further information about the CARES ESSER I Act.
- The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), passed on Dec. 27, 2020, provided $54.3 billion in supplemental ESSER funding, known as the ESSER II fund. Please click HERE to view further information about CRRSA ESSER II Act.
- The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), passed on March 11, 2021, provided $122.7 billion in supplemental ESSER funding, known as the ESSER III fund. This ARP
- The SEAs are required to reserve their allocations to carry out activities: 5% to address learning loss, 1% for afterschool activities, and 1% for summer learning programs.
- The LEAs must reserve at least 20% of the funding they receive to address learning loss.
- Two-thirds of ESSER funds are immediately available to states, while remaining funds will be made available after states submit ESSER implementation plans.
- Under the ARP ESSER (ESSER III) Act, public school districts must prepare and submit to the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) for approval a Comprehensive Plan that includes:
- District Overall Priorities- the top 2-3 priorities that have been determined as the most pressing needs for students and schools as a result or in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Learning Opportunity Loss Plan- to plan evidence-based interventions to support accelerated learning opportunities for students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This plan must also describe the district's implementation of Preventive & Mitigation Strategies to ensure a safe Return to In-Person Instruction.
- This plan must include specific information that addresses how it will maintain student and staff health and safety and how it will ensure continuity of services for academic and social-emotional needs, as well as how it meets CDC mitigation and safety guidance
- The plan must be updated no less than every six months and must include public input when revisions are necessary. If an LEA already has a plan in place that doesn't meet the new requirements, it must revise the plan within six months.
Please feel free to visit the Georgia Department of Education Georgia Insights webpage for additional COVID-19 and Schools information linked HERE.
District CARES Act Administrator
404-371-3601 x 1019