How States Plan to Use Federal Pandemic Relief Funds, Part 3

The U.S. Department of Education approved plans from 12 more states and Guam for use of the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. Earlier this year, the department distributed two-thirds of the ARP ESSER funds, totaling $81 billion, to state departments of education. The remaining third of the funding is made available once plans are approved; to date, 45 states, Guam, and Washington, D.C. have been approved. Here are some ways that the 12 newly approved states and Guam describe how they intend to use the federal funds to support the safe and sustained return to in-person learning:

  • Arizona’s $862 million will fund evidence-based interventions that focus on enrichment and reinforcement of learning; mental, behavioral, and physical health support for students and educators; and student and family re-engagement and support. In addition, Arizona will partner with the state’s three public universities to create a dedicated Educator Recruitment and Retention team.
  • California will allocate its $5 billion in remaining ESSER funds to support an Expanded Learning Opportunity (ELO) grant program to provide resources for students, including increased instructional time, tutoring, mental health services, creation of community learning hubs, and additional support for students who do not have enough credits for grade promotion or graduation.
  • Colorado’s $389 million will fund high-impact tutoring, increased access to high-quality curricular and instructional materials, professional learning modules, educator workforce recruitment and retention efforts, school improvement grants, supplemental funding to support Native American students and students with disabilities, and career and technical education programs.
  • Guam is investing its $287 million to accelerate student achievement by preparing teachers to use the most effective approaches to planning, teaching, and assessment using technology, such as tablets, laptops, interactive whiteboards, document readers, and virtual and augmented reality.
  • Idaho plans to spend its $146 million to provide schools with professional development resources on using attendance and absenteeism data, as well as other student achievement indicators, to identify students who missed the most instruction during the pandemic and to identify evidence-based interventions for districts.
  • Maine’s $137 million will fund its Extended Learning Program to develop opportunities for students across the state to engage with local industry employers. The program will allow students to gain knowledge and skills through learning and credit recovery in community-based and work-based organizations through the academic year.
  • Maryland plans to invest a portion of its $651 million to focus on acceleration strategies that support students by providing increased class time, more dedicated attention, and greater exposure to grade-level learning.
  • Michigan will use a portion of its $1.2 billion to address the academic impact of lost instructional time and expand summer and afterschool programs. Districts will use these funds to select evidence-based interventions that address the academic and social-emotional needs of student populations most impacted by the pandemic.
  • Missouri is investing its $654 million to launch the state’s literacy initiative to ensure all children can read by the end of second grade and to fund a competency-based learning pilot to reach students who have fallen behind.
  • Nebraska will spend its $182 million to pursue evidence-based interventions that support student and staff social-emotional wellbeing and mental health; to reimagine family and community engagement; to invest in teacher professional development, upskilling, and the teacher and leader pipeline; and to ensure students have equitable access to grade-level instruction to address unfinished learning and support learning acceleration.
  • Nevada’s $358 million will support evidence-based afterschool programs for districts through a competitive grant process and to fund districts and charter schools hiring of additional school-based mental health professionals.
  • North Carolina is investing its $1.2 billion in evidence-based interventions, including high-impact tutoring, a statewide competency-based assessment and platform, and a competitive grant program for school extensions. The state will also expand its support for improving health outcomes for the state’s children.
  • Virginia will use its $704 million in ESSER funds to support a wide array of initiatives, including funding instructional programs focused on literacy and math; maintaining safe environments for in-person instruction; providing mental health resources to help students recover from the pandemic; and recruiting, retaining and supporting teachers.

As the final round of states have their ESSER funds plans approved by the U.S. Department of Education, we will keep you posted and you can learn even more about how the federal funding pandemic relief is being distributed from MDR’s MarketView.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Press Releases