How States Plan to Use Federal Pandemic Relief Funds, Part 4

The U.S. Department of Education has approved the final state and territory plans for using their American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to support the safe and sustained return to in-person learning for U.S. K-12 students. Other states and territories had their ARP ESSER plans approved in 2021. All 52 ARP ESSER state plans are now approved.

Discover more about the ways that the newly approved plans are using their infusion of federal funds to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on student learning:

  • American Samoa will use its $264 million in ESSER funds to continue to ensure that schools are improved for safe, in-person learning, to invest in online and computer-based resources to support classroom instruction, and to support career and technical education programs.
  • Florida will allocate its $2.3 billion in remaining ESSER funds to implement a tutoring initiative for students in the early grades focused on closing learning gaps exacerbated by the pandemic. The state will also provide grants to all school districts to invest in evidence-based reading strategies and professional development aligned to the science of reading. Florida ESSER funds will also  support grants to expand access to STEM programs and to enhance or create evidence-based summer learning programs with a focus on reading achievement.
  • Mississippi is investing its $543 million to encourage districts to host vaccination drives on school campuses and to support tutoring, summer learning and enrichment, and extended day programs. The state is also using ESSER funds for a pilot program to deliver mental and behavioral health care to children and increase educator knowledge about behavioral management techniques.
  • Puerto Rico’s $990 million in ESSER funds will be used to continue to support vaccination campaigns in its schools and to expand and extend tutoring services, prioritizing students with disabilities among other groups of students most impacted by the pandemic. In addition, Puerto Rico will invest in its educator workforce to help combat its teacher shortage.
  • The U.S. Virgin Islands’ $138 million will fund social and emotional learning and academic learning programs, as well as after-school and summer learning programs.
  • Vermont plans to use its $95 million to support a vaccine incentive program that will make awards to schools that achieve a student vaccination rate of 85 percent or higher. In addition, the state will use its funds  to help teachers to deliver evidence-based practices for literacy instruction, with a focus on K-3 students. A  multi-year program to implement community schools with embedded medical, mental health, social services and other support services will also receive ESSER funding.
  • Washington’s $618 million will fund grants to provide schools with resources for individualized evidence-based instruction to increase student engagement, content mastery, credit attainment, and graduation rates, particularly for students most impacted by the pandemic. In addition, the state will create a grant award process to use the funds for existing afterschool 21st Century Community Learning Center programs.
  • Wisconsin will allocate its $514 million to sustain the safe operation of schools and equitably expand opportunity for students who need it most, particularly those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Wyoming will use its $101 million to fund competitive district grants for evidence-based interventions consistent with student needs and specific focus areas, including kindergarten readiness, computer science, postsecondary partnerships, postsecondary transition programming, and content specific professional development.

You can learn more about how the AARP ESSER pandemic relief funds are being distributed from MDR’s MarketView.

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