Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on elementary and secondary schools across the country, including significant learning loss for students. This article outlines the three releases of funds and appropriate uses of these funds.
Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on elementary and secondary schools across the country, including significant learning loss for students.
What is ESSER?
To address these effects of COVID-19, Congress has enacted legislation that provides Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding for state and local educational agencies.
There have been three releases of funds:
- ESSER I Grant March 27, 2020: $13.2 billion available as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Available from March 13, 2020, to September 30, 2022.
- CRRSA ESSER II Grant December 27, 2020: $54.3 billion for the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act. Available from March 13, 2020, to September 30, 2023.
- ARP ESSER III Grant March 11, 2021: $122 billion for the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. Available from March 13, 2020, to September 30, 2024
Of these, Texas has received $1.3 billion in ESSER I funds, $5.5 billion in CRRSA ESSER II funds and $12.4 billion in ARP ESSER III funds. The Texas Education Agency has outlined the relevant entitlements for each local educational agency and education service center.
What expenses are eligible for ESSER funds?
For the latest information on what products & services are eligible, please refer to federal and state guidelines. Schools may be allowed to use ESSER funds to address learning loss in a variety of ways, for example:
Providing wraparound services to students
- Before/After School and Saturdays
- Summer School
Hiring and training educators and other staff
- Instructional Coaches
- Planning Time
- Professional Development
- Professional Development on SEL
- Social Workers
Shoring up facilities and equipment
- Bus Services
- Construction Costs
- Health and Safety Equipment
- HVAC Systems
- Intensive Intervention and Remediation
- Other (PPE, technology, etc.)
Using ESSER Funds on Facility Projects
Once you have determined eligible projects & purchases for your organization, TASB Facility Services has programs to help boost your community’s response to COVID-19. ESSER funds may be used in a variety of ways, including to address the health-related needs of district facilities in the following areas:
- HVAC Systems and Ventilation
- Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
- Pre-construction hazardous material sampling of suspect building components to be disturbed during facility improvements, as required by state law
Using ESSER Funds on BuyBoard purchases
Once you have determined eligible projects & purchases, BuyBoard can help make the procurement process simple, easy, and compliant. BuyBoard purchases that support public health may be ESSER fund eligible. With a wide range of vendors, members will find almost everything needed to support their organization through BuyBoard, including:
- Health and safety equipment
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- HVAC systems and services related to indoor air quality and ventilation
- Buses and bus services for expanded learning opportunities to address learning loss
- Job order contracting (JOC) for new construction or school facility repairs and improvements that support student health needs
Save time and purchase compliantly. Stretch your budget further with the competitive pricing and trusted, transparent procurement process you’re used to with BuyBoard. Visit buyboard.com to learn more.