ESSER funds must be used to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on learning in elementary and secondary schools.
"...the purpose of providing local educational agencies (LEAs), including charter schools that are LEAs, with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the Nation" (Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, n.d.)
1) The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. $54.3 billion for The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund
2) Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act. $13.2 billion for The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund
3) American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. $122 billion for K–12 schools.
In March 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act into law (state allocations are available here.) These funds have fast approaching spending deadlines with CARES by September 30th 2022, CRRSA by September 30th 2023, and ARP by September 30th 2024. LEAs must reserve 20% of the funds to implement evidence-based interventions which will address learning loss. These programs must respond to student's academic, social, and emotional needs and they must address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented student subgroups.
Research on summer setbacks demonstrates that being out of school has a significant impact on students' literacy skill development (Heyns, 1978, Lawrence, 2009) and that the impact is exacerbated for our most vulnerable students.
Reading Ways has developed a streamlined version of our Diagnostic Literacy Inventory to help your school or district determine how to address learning loss. Depending on your school's needs, we can provide consulting, technical assistance, and professional learning to help your staff address the challenges in front of them. Contact us now to get started with one of our team members.
Heyns, B. (1978). Summer learning and the effects of schooling. Academic Press.
Lawrence, J. F. (2009). Summer reading: Predicting adolescent word learning from aptitude, time spent reading, and text type. Reading Psychology, 30(5), 445–465. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702710802412008
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (May 2021). FAQ: Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Programs Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Programs. Retrieved from https://oese.ed.gov/files/2021/05/ESSER.GEER_.FAQs_5.26.21_745AM_FINALb0cd6833f6f46e03ba2d97d30aff953260028045f9ef3b18ea602db4b32b1d99.pdf
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (n.d.). Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. https://oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/elementary-secondary-school-emergency-relief-fund/