Happy New Year! May 2021 bring an end to Covid-19 quickly!
As we wait for Covid-19 to end, it looks like the Covid-19 Relief bill signed by President Trump will give K-12 schools more ESSER funds. According to FutureED, the new relief package will provide 54.3 billion dollars to K-12 schools. The earlier CARES Relief bill in March provided 13.2 billion. That is almost four times the amount of funding received in March.
It appears the LEAs will be able to use the funds for any activity allowed under other federal laws. Even though the funds will be distributed through the Title I allocation formula, it does not look like they will be limited to Title I usage. The funds can be used for the same purposes and in the same manner as they were used for ESSER. The new measure addresses the same 12 allowable usages as was in the CARES grant.
- ” Any activity authorized by the ESEA of 1965, including the Native Hawaiian Education Act and the Alaska Native Educational Equity, Support, and Assistance Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, or subtitle B of title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
- Coordination of preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies 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 coronavirus.
- Providing principals and others school leaders with the resources necessary to address the needs of their individual schools.
- 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 youth, including how outreach and service delivery will meet the needs of each population.
- Developing and implementing procedures and systems to improve the preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies.
- Training and professional development for staff of the local educational agency on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
- Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities of a local educational agency, including buildings operated by such agency.
- 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 IDEA and how to ensure other educational services can continue to be provided consistent with all Federal, State, and local requirements.
- 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.
- Providing mental health services and supports.
- 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, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care.
- 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 local educational agency.”
It also looks like the Governor’s Fund will get additional funds as well.
So Happy 2021! More funds. Now to plan how to spend the funds in the best way to meet student needs.