When COVID-19 closed schools across the nation in 2020 and 2021, Congress passed a trio of stimulus bills that totaled $190.5 billion in relief to help offset the educational disruption caused by the pandemic. The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds were vital to schools afflicted by the outbreak of Coronavirus, supporting a variety of distance learning initiatives that were necessary to adapt to the new educational landscape.
These funds were designed to be flexible in nature, compared to traditional federal grants which can only be used to pay for resources already detailed in school’s state or local budgets. This allowed schools to devote the funds to the areas where COVID-19 had caused the most unrest, also helping implement new health protocols and tools to help effectively maintain the health and safety of students.
In December of 2020, ESSER II was passed and provided $54.3 billion in supplemental funding. Several months later, in March of 2021, ESSER III passed as well, sending another $122 billion in funds devoted to the loss of learning perpetuated by the pandemic. While these funds have been an integral part in helping school districts combat the educational strains caused by a global pandemic, there are several important deadlines to be aware of.
ESSER I – September 30th, 2022
ESSER II – September 30th, 2023
ESSER III – September 30th, 2024
How Can School Districts Utilize ESSER Funds?
Since these funds are more flexible than grants, they can be used to address the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the CARES act, COVID-19-related relief. ESSER II, also known as the CRRSA Act, allows districts to allocate funds to the aforementioned areas, but also outlined additional uses that include:
- Addressing learning loss among students
- Providing information and assistance to parents and families on how to support distance learning
- Activities that are necessary to maintain the operation and continuity of services in local educational agencies
How Western Integrated Systems Can Help Your School District
For 41 years, Western Integrated Systems has provided digital transformation solutions for its customers, evolving alongside the rapid development of new technology. We are your trusted partner who can help you identify and implement cutting-edge solutions that drive productivity, efficiency and growth. Whether it’s scanners or capture software to help ingest and route documents more effectively, or a robust document management system that makes retrieval a breeze, Western Integrated Systems can tailor a solution to fit your school district’s needs.
Want to learn more about our solutions in the education industry? Check out what Grand Canyon Education did to streamline their onboarding and transcript requests.
Ready to get the conversation started? Contact us today to learn how we can work with your remaining ESSER funds to address a variety of issues that COVID-19 introduced to schools across the nation. We offer a variety of products and services that can address issues created by the pandemic. The first ESSER deadline is in September of this year, so don’t wait!