ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds)

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  • ESSER I, ESSER II, and ESSER III

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Department of Education has released three grants for which local education agencies (LEAs) can apply through the Texas Education Agency (TEA). These grants, known as ESSER I, ESSER II, and ESSER III, were authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act); the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA); and the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

     ESSER Data

    CARES Act: ESSER I

    In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law. The CARES Act dedicated $13.2 billion for K-12 schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. This grant is known as ESSER I. The intent and purpose of ESSER I funding is to provide emergency relief funds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus. ESSER I funds can be used to cover expenses incurred March 13, 2020, through September 30, 2022.

     

    Fort Worth ISD applied to receive its ESSER I allocation in August 2020. Fort Worth ISD’s ESSER I allocation was not supplemental to Fort Worth ISD; instead, ESSER I funds were used by the Texas Education Agency to offset the loss of average daily attendance (ADA) through the Foundation School Program (FSP) under Texas school finance.

     

    The CARES Act required Fort Worth ISD to set aside a portion of its ESSER I allocation to provide equitable services to participating private non-profit schools. Of the $29,311,626 allocated to Fort Worth ISD, private non-profit schools received $1,164,136. Fort Worth ISD used its internal allocation of $28,147,490 to maintain salaries and provide internet connectivity.


    CRRSA: ESSER II

    In December 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) was signed into law. CRRSA dedicated an additional $54.3 billion to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. This grant is known as ESSER II. The Texas Education Agency released the grant application on June 4, 2021, and Fort Worth ISD’s ESSER II allocation is $116,461,384. Fort Worth ISD will apply for its allocation of ESSER II funds before September 2, 2021. ESSER II funds can be used to cover expenses incurred March 13, 2020, through September 30, 2023.

     

    Fort Worth ISD is not required to provide equitable services to private non-profit schools with ESSER II funds. Private non-profit schools will receive separate funding from TEA under the Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) I grant.


    ARP: ESSER III

    In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) was signed into law. ARP dedicated $122 billion to the Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief (ESSER) Fund. This grant is known as ESSER III. The intent and purpose of ESSER III is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus on students.

     

    Fort Worth ISD will apply to receive its allocation of ESSER III funds before July 27, 2021, based on feedback from all stakeholder groups. Fort Worth ISD’s ESSER III allocation is $261,555,722. These funds are supplemental to Fort Worth ISD and will be used to address the impact COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools. Based on guidance from TEA and feedback from students, parents, and other stakeholder groups, Fort Worth ISD’s plan for ESSER III funds will focus on evidence-based practices to support teachers, provide high-quality instructional materials, create more time for learning, and empower parents.

     

    Fort Worth ISD is not required to provide equitable services to private non-profit schools with ESSER III funds. Private non-profit schools can apply for funding from TEA under the Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) II grant.

     

    Fort Worth ISD will utilize ESSER III funds to address issues that have risen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fort Worth ISD is required by statue to set aside 20 percent of its total ESSER III allocation to address learning loss. Fort Worth ISD is also required to develop two plans: a Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan and a Use of Funds Plan. These plans are linked below and will be reviewed every six months and revised, as necessary. ESSER III funds can be used to cover expenses incurred March 13, 2020, through September 30, 2024.

     

    Fort Worth ISD's Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan is posted here.

     

    Fort Worth ISD's ESSER III Use of Funds Plan is posted here.

     

    Resources

     

    https://tea.texas.gov/finance-and-grants/grants/elementary-and-secondary-school-emergency-relief-esser-grant-programs

     

    https://oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/elementary-secondary-school-emergency-relief-fund/

     

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