Important Abbreviations

ESSER  Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief 
CARES  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security 
CRRSA  Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations 
ARPA American Rescue Plan Act
SEA  State Education Agency 
LEA  Local Education Agency 
ESF  Education Stabilization Fund 


  • March 27, 2020: The CARES Act was signed into law, which included $13.2 billion for the ESSER Fund. 
  • December 27, 2020: The CRRSA Act was signed into law, which included an additional $54.3 billion for the ESSER II Fund. 
  • January 2021: SEA’s were awarded ESSER II Funds. 
  • March 2021: The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law.

ESSER Funds 

Under the CARES Act ESSER Funds provides $13.5 billion to LEAs through the Education Stabilization Fund. To receive this funding, you must apply to your SEA. All SEAs must offer 90% of the funds to LEAs while retaining 10% to address their own emergency needs. States have until April-June 2021 to award these funds to districts.

Funds can be used on a broad range of activities, which include but are not limited to:   

  • Supplemental learning   
  • Addressing needs of at-risk or low-income students  
  • Providing mental healthcare services  
  • Providing necessary resources  
  • Planning for long-term closure  
  • Purchasing educational equipment  
  • Training and professional development on PPE  
  • Procedure development  
  • PPE  

Funds need to be tracked and spent before September 30, 2022.  


ESSER II Funds through the CRRSA Act includes an additional $54.3 billion. The funds are awarded to SEAs in the same proportion as each State received funds under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year 2020. SEAs have until January 2022 to give LEAs these funds.

Dependent on state, typically LEAs are required to apply for ESSER II funds. Important to note, ESSER II funds should be reported on separate from ESSER funds. 

ESSER II funds can be used for everything under ESSER with the addition of:   

  • Addressing learning loss  
  • Preparing schools for reopening  
  • Testing, repairing, and upgrading buildings to improve air quality  

ESSER II funds need to be spent before September 30, 2023.   

ESSER II District Funding Finder 

Use this Funding Finder to see how the ESSER II funding was allocated to each state by district. We will continue to update the information as states release their funding allocation breakdowns.

How to Get Your Funds 

The ESSER II funds were distributed to SEAs in January 2021. You can find how much your state received here. SEAs have until January 2022 to award the funds to LEAs. Each state has a different process for how LEAs are able to get their funds. We recommend checking your state’s Department of Education (DOE) website for more information.


The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11th, 2021. This plan will provide $130 billion to support schools in safely reopening. Districts must ensure that funds are used to not only reopen schools, but also to meet students’ academic, mental health and social, and emotional needs in response to COVID-19, (e.g. through extended learning time, tutoring, and counselors), wherever they are learning.

SEAs must make funds available to LEAs in an expedited and timely manner and, to the extent practicable, not later than 60 days after the receipt of such funds.

These funds can be used to:

  • Reduce class sizes and modify spaces so students and teachers can socially distance
  • Improve ventilation
  • Hire more janitors and implement mitigation measures
  • Provide personal protective equipment
  • Ensure every school has access to a nurse
  • Increase transportation capacity to facilitate social distancing on the bus
  • Hire counselors to support students as they transition back to the classroom
  • Close the digital divide that is exacerbating inequities during the pandemic
  • Provide summer school or other support for students that will help make up lost learning time this year
  • Create and expand community schools
  • Cover other costs needed to support safely reopening and support students

Mitigate Learning Loss with ESSER Funds 

Research shows that physical activity affects the brain in ways that allow students to be more engaged and ready to learn. If a child is sitting too long, they are missing out on vital movements that increase brain function and activity. 

Our furniture may be funded though ESSER as a way to mitigate learning loss by increasing time-on-task