The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the way schools operate and how students learn. As a result, schools have been searching for ways to adapt and use available funds to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their students. This blog post will guide readers through the complexities of utilizing Covid funds to best serve their schools, with a focus on the Education Stabilization Fund (ESSER), Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEER), and the American Rescue Plan.
“…But the Money is All Gone?” … Not Quite.
Most educators today believe all the funds dispersed to schools throughout the country have been spent or accounted for; however, this article will explore the realities seen today to which you may be surprised.
Imagine being handed millions of dollars and being told to spend it wisely and responsibly. Would you scream from the rooftops and alert everyone that moneys are available? Or would you send a mass email to everyone on campus telling them funds were up for grabs? If you’ve been told COVID funds are all gone, there’s reason to believe the funds have merely been loosely budgeted and could be moved around if you submit a compelling proposal with our help.
Funding Guidelines: How Can You Use These Funds?
“These funds can be used for any allowable use of funds under other federal education programs, including the Every Student Succeeds Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.”— Association for Career and Technical Education CTE Policy Watch
Get Your Share
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges for schools and districts across the country. Fortunately, the federal government has responded with multiple funds, such as the Education Stabilization Fund (ESSER) and Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to help schools address the economic and educational challenges posed by the pandemic. Additionally, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides additional funds to help schools address the impact of the pandemic.
Navigating these funds can be overwhelming, but with the right approach, you can use them to transform student learning experiences, build skills, and invest in the future. Here’s a step-by-step process to help you make the most of these resources:
- Find the funds available to your district or school via the Department of Education Reporting Site. This site will provide you with a breakdown of all the funds available to your school, including the ESSER, HEERF, and American Rescue Plan funds. It will show you the amount of money provided to the school and the amount that has actually been spent. https://covid-relief-data.ed.gov/
- Create Your Wishlist. Once you’ve identified the funds available to you, create a wishlist of items that you’d like to purchase with the funds. Remember, Covid relied funds can be used for the same things you usually buy with Perkins funds, such as educational technology, resources, PD, and other investments in student learning.
- Reach out to TOOLKIT to share your wishlists, build your quotes, and understand what can be delivered in time by the delivery deadlines. TOOLKIT is an online platform that provides an easy way to locate vendors, compare quotes, and build the perfect budget for your school.
- Transform student learning experiences and future through hands-on skills development courtesy of Covid Funds. Now that you’ve identified and compiled the necessary resources and quotes, it’s time to invest in the future of your students. By investing in hands-on learning experiences, you can ensure that students have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the future.
By following these steps, you can take advantage of the available funds and invest in the future of your school. With the right approach and resources, you can use these funds to transform student learning experiences and build skills for the future.
Strategies for schools to access Covid funds successfully
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect educational institutions nationwide, accessing and properly utilizing Covid funds has become increasingly important for schools. With the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER), Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEER), and the American Rescue Plan now available, schools have a number of options for accessing these funds and using them to support their operations.
In order to access these funds, schools must first understand the eligibility criteria for each funding source. ESSER is available to K-12 public schools and is focused on addressing the learning loss and other impacts of the pandemic. HEER is available to both public and private higher education institutions and is focused on providing emergency financial aid to students and supporting institution operations. The American Rescue Plan is available to all K-12 public schools and is focused on providing targeted support to help address the learning loss and other impacts of the pandemic.
Once a school has determined its eligibility, it is important to take steps to maximize the use of Covid funds. This includes identifying potential additional sources of funding that could supplement Covid funds, such as private grants and donations, as well as investigating the reporting requirements and timelines associated with the receipt of Covid funds. This will ensure that the school is able to access and use the funds in the most efficient and effective manner.
These funds have given schools a significant opportunity to address dated and obsolete technologies in the Career and Technical Education classrooms, upgrade laboratories to be in-line with current industry standards, or provide improve the hands-on equipment:student ratio for growing class sizes.
Understanding the different Covid funds available
As the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been felt across the country, schools have been hard-pressed to find the resources needed to sustain their operations and keep students safe. Fortunately, the US government has made available several Covid relief funds to help provide schools with the necessary support. In this blog post, we will discuss the different Covid funds available—Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund, and the American Rescue Plan (ARP)—and how schools can best utilize these funds to maximize their benefit.
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund is a $54.3 billion fund that was created as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This fund is intended to help K-12 schools cover costs associated with the pandemic, such as providing technology for distance learning, addressing learning loss, and supporting students with social-emotional needs. The fund is allocated to states based on their relative population of students and can be used for a wide range of activities.
The Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund was also created as part of the CARES Act and is a $14 billion fund intended to help higher education institutions with expenses related to the pandemic. This fund is allocated directly to public and private institutions of higher education and can be used to cover a wide range of expenses, such as providing technology for distance learning and providing emergency financial aid to students.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) was passed in March 2021 and is a $1.9 trillion relief package intended to help the country recover from the effects of the pandemic. As part of this package, schools will receive $128.6 billion in emergency funding. This funding can be used for a wide range of activities, such as providing technology for distance learning, addressing learning loss, and providing emergency financial aid to students.
Now that you have an understanding of the different Covid funds available, how can schools best utilize these funds to maximize their benefit? One of the best ways to do this is to create a comprehensive plan for how the funds will be used. This plan should include an assessment of the needs of the school, a detailed budget outlining how the funds will be spent, and a timeline for implementation. Additionally, schools should ensure that they are taking full advantage of all the funds available to them and that they are taking the necessary steps to ensure that the funds are used efficiently and effectively.
Navigating the different Covid funds available can seem daunting. However, with the right plan and approach, schools can make the most of these funds and ensure that they are able to provide the necessary support to their students and community.
Overview of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER Fund)
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund was established in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides K-12 schools with grants to help them address the learning needs of students, reduce the learning loss due to the pandemic, and address the physical and mental health needs of students and staff. The ESSER fund has been allocated $68.5 billion, making it the largest single source of federal funding for K-12 schools.
In order to access the ESSER Fund, schools must apply for the grants. Each state has its own application process and must submit its applications to the US Department of Education. Applications are prioritized based on the needs of the school and the amount of funding requested. The US Department of Education has made the process of accessing the ESSER Fund easier by providing online resources and webinars to help schools understand the application process and how to maximize the impact of the grants.
Once the school has received the ESSER funds, it is important to ensure that the funds are used to their fullest potential. Schools should prioritize needs such as improving technology for remote learning, providing mental health supports for students and staff, and addressing learning loss due to the pandemic. Schools should also consider how the funds can be used to support equity initiatives, such as providing additional resources for students in underserved communities.
In addition to the ESSER Fund, schools can also access the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund and the American Rescue Plan. The HEER Fund provides schools with additional funding to help them address the learning needs of students and staff, while the American Rescue Plan provides additional funding for schools to address learning loss and other needs related to the pandemic. Schools should consider how these funds can be used in conjunction with the ESSER Fund to maximize the impact of the available grants.
Navigating the available funds for K-12 schools can be overwhelming. However, with an understanding of the ESSER Fund and the resources available to access it, schools can ensure that the funds are used to their fullest potential to benefit students, staff, and their communities.
Highlights of the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER Fund)
The Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund is an important source of emergency funds for postsecondary institutions to help provide students with financial aid, as well as support services like housing, food, and healthcare. The HEER Fund has been used to provide emergency grants to postsecondary institutions to help them with financial aid, emergency grants, and other support services. The funding is also available to help postsecondary institutions purchase equipment and supplies to help students continue their education.
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund was created to provide emergency funds to K-12 schools for costs related to student learning and safety. These funds have been used to help schools with professional development, mental health services, and technology needs. The funds are also available to help schools purchase equipment and supplies to help students continue their education.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) is providing additional funding for elementary and secondary schools for expenses related to Covid-19, such as summer learning, tutoring, and afterschool programs. This funding is intended to help schools meet the challenges of the pandemic, including providing resources for students and educators who are struggling to keep up with the changes.
School administrators can maximize their use of federal Covid-19 funding by understanding how to best use each of the funds and how to take advantage of the opportunities available. Administrators should also consider how their schools can use the funds to their full potential to ensure that their students and staff are supported throughout the pandemic.
This guide is designed to help school administrators navigate the available Covid-19 funds and make the most of them. With the right planning and use of these funds, schools can ensure that their students and educators are adequately prepared to meet the challenges of the pandemic.
An Overview of the American Rescue Plan
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) was signed into law in March 2021, providing more than $130 billion in aid to K-12 schools, colleges, and universities in the United States. This funding is designed to help schools, students, and educators recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds are divided into three distinct programs: ESSER, HEER, and the American Rescue Plan.
ESSER, or the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, provides the largest portion of funds from the ARP, totaling over $122 billion. This funding is intended to help schools address the immediate and long-term learning losses caused by the pandemic. It can be used to hire additional staff, provide professional development, purchase educational materials, and implement other activities designed to improve student outcomes.
HEER, or the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, provides $39 billion in additional funding for colleges and universities. This money can be used to cover tuition and fees, provide emergency grants to students, and invest in technological upgrades. It is also intended to ensure that higher education institutions can continue to offer quality learning experiences to their students.
Finally, the American Rescue Plan provides over $2 billion in additional funds for K-12 schools. This funding is intended to help schools address the specific needs of their students in the aftermath of the pandemic. It can be used to provide mental health services, restorative justice, and other resources to help students and educators recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Navigating the process of applying for and receiving funds from these programs can be daunting. Educators and school administrators need to understand the details of each program and figure out how best to use the funds. They also need to be aware of the reporting requirements associated with receiving and spending the funds.
By understanding the nuances of the American Rescue Plan, ESSER, and HEER, school administrators can make the most positive impact with these funds. They can use the money to hire additional staff, invest in technology, and purchase educational materials. They can also use the funds to provide mental health services, restorative justice, and other resources to help students and educators recover from the impact of the pandemic. Lastly, they need to track and report on how the funds are spent in order to ensure that the funds are used for the intended purposes.
The American Rescue Plan offers a unique opportunity for K-12 schools to make a difference in the lives of their students and educators. By understanding the nuances of ESSER, HEER, and the American Rescue Plan, school administrators can ensure that the funds are used to make the most positive impact. This can help to ensure that students and educators can recover from the pandemic and thrive in the future.
It’s Not Too Late
Reach out to see how we can help write a funding proposal and get your piece of the pie. By utilizing the ESSER, HEER and American Rescue Plan funds, schools can ensure that they are taking advantage of all available resources to help their students get relevant, modern Career and Technical Education learning solutions. With knowledge of the available funds, and the guidance of trusted advisors, school leaders can confidently take the steps needed to ensure a successful future for their students and staff.