12 uses for ESSER funds

School districts may use grant funds to support any activity authorized by the ESEA, including a host of education supplies and student or teacher supports.
By: | July 29, 2020
Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on UnsplashPhoto by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

Under Section 18003(c) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Pub. L. No. 116-136, states must allocate not less than 90 percent of the grant funds awarded to the state as subgrants to local educational agencies in the state, which include charter schools that are LEAs.

Such allocation must be made in proportion to the amount of funds such LEAs and charter schools that are LEAs received in the most recent fiscal year under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, Pub. L. No. 114-95.

LEAs receiving ESSER funds may use such funds for any of the following:

  1. Any activity authorized by the ESEA, including the Native Hawaiian Education Act and the Alaska Native Educational Equity, Support, and Assistance Act (20 USC 6301 et seq.); the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 USC 1400 et seq.); the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (20 USC 1400 et seq.); the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 USC 2301 et seq.); or Subtitle B of Title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 USC 11431 et seq.).
  2. Coordination of preparedness and response efforts of LEAs with state, local, tribal, and territorial public health departments, and other relevant agencies to improve coordinated responses among such entities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus.
  3. Provision of the resources necessary to address the needs of their individual schools to principals and others school leaders
  4. Activities to address the unique needs of low-income children or students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youths, including how outreach and service delivery will meet the needs of each population.
  5. Development and implementation of procedures and systems to improve the preparedness and response efforts of LEAs.
  6. Training and professional development for staff of the LEAs on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
  7. Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities of an LEA, including buildings operated by such agency.
  8. Planning for and coordinating during long-term closures, including for how to provide meals to eligible students, how to provide technology for online learning to all students, how to provide guidance for carrying out requirements under the IDEA, and how to ensure other educational services can continue to be provided consistent with all federal, state, and local requirements.
  9. Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity) for students who are served by the local educational agency that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including low-income students and students with disabilities, which may include assistive technology or adaptive equipment.
  10. Mental health services and supports.
  11. Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and supplemental afterschool programs, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, ELs, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care.
  12. Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in local educational agencies and continuing to employ existing staff of the LEA.

Claude Bornel covers ELs and other Title I issues for TitleIAdmin, a DA sister publication. Links to documents mentioned above are available to subscribers.