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More COVID Funding for Schools and Districts with CRRSA

As the nation bid farewell to 2020, Congress passed CRRSA, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, which includes some $54 billion dollars in relief funds for K-12 education, with an additional $4 billion in a discretionary fund for governors’ use.

This second act of federal relief in response to COVID-19 follows the CARES Act, which provided $13.2 billion for K-12 education and $3 billion for governors beginning in March 2020. 

Overall, the CRRSA represents a K-12 funding opportunity of over 3.5 times more than the earlier CARES Act, which itself has not yet been fully exhausted by schools and districts. Local Education Agencies (LEAs) have until September 2022 to spend CARES Act funding, and until September 2023 for CRRSA funding. 

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As we did in April 2020 for the CARES Act, team members at MIND Research Institute have summarized the funding opportunities available for K-12 education under the CRRSA, and added further resources for educators seeking coronavirus-related funding opportunities.

Funds for K-12

K-12 funding has been made available in two different venues: 

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and 
Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) 

ESSER and GEER under the CARES Act are referred to as ESSER II and GEER II under CRRSA.

GEER II Relief Funds

GEER II is designed with flexibility in mind, giving governors discretion to determine how to best meet the needs of students, schools (including charter and non-public schools via EANS, Emergency Assistance to Nonpublic Schools), and other education organizations.

Looking to understand the differences between GEER and GEER II? Here’s a fact sheet from the Department of Education. For more information, here are the GEER II state allocations

ESSER II Relief Funds

The bulk of K-12 funding under CRRSA, to the tune of $54 billion, is available as part of ESSER II. According to Section 313 of the Act, these funds may be used for:

Addressing Learning Loss

  • Planning and implementing afterschool and summer learning programs
  • Addressing student learning loss through evidence-based approaches, including family resources, assessments, and differentiated instruction
  • Addressing learning loss among students living in poverty, with disabilities, learning English, experiencing homelessness, or living in foster care

Ed Tech Purchasing

  • Purchasing the hardware and software needed for remote and hybrid learning

School Services, Facilities, Preparedness, and Coordination

  • Providing mental health services and supports
  • Improving coordination among state, local, tribal and other entities
  • Providing resources that principals and school leaders need to address COVID-19 at their sites
  • Supporting district efforts to improve preparedness
  • Training staff on sanitation and use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Purchasing PPE and sanitation supplies
  • Planning for long-term school closures
  • Repairing school facilities, especially HVAC systems

Looking to understand the differences between ESSER and ESSER II? Here’s a fact sheet from the Department of Education. 

The ESSER II Fund has been allocated based on the proportion that each state received under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in the most recent fiscal year. Here are the ESSER II state allocations

More Information

The best centralized resource for CARES and CRRSA details can be found at ed.gov/coronavirus. Many state departments of education have also prepared funding resources; here are the sites for California, Texas, and Ohio

Further Resources

This post is part of a MIND series on Coronavirus-related funding:

 

Liz Neiman

About the Author

Liz Neiman is Vice President of Engagement at MIND, leading the marketing team's plans and activities to promote MIND's initiatives and impact. Besides education and gaming, her interests include music of all kinds (from musical theater to heavy metal), cooking and baking, and fashion. Follow her on Twitter @lizneiman.

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