Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund
Arizona LEAs have twice been allocated funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. These highly flexible funds are designed to help address local relief, prevention and preparation, and recovery efforts relative to responding to COVID-19. See the distinctions between ESSER I and ESSER II.
ESSER I dollars are available for obligation through September 30, 2022. ESSER II dollars are available for obligation through September 30, 2023.
Arizona eligible LEAs were allocated $1.084 billion in ESSER II Funds through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act that was enacted on December 27, 2020. Download the LEA allocations here.
In order to guarantee a baseline funding amount for every public school district and non-profit charter organization in the state, the Arizona Department of Education is contributing discretionary dollars we received from the CRSSA Act to ensure every non-profit LEA – regardless of size or location – receives at least $150,000 in base funding, with $175,000 guaranteed for rural school districts and charters, and $200,000 guaranteed for the most remote school districts and charters.
Watch the March 2021 ESSER II 'Utilizing ESSER I and II' AASBO Webinar (1:06:38 – 1:58:10) and view the PowerPoint (joint presentation with HeinfeldMeech)
All non-profit district and charter LEAs may apply for federal ESSER Funds. LEAs that have not yet applied may still do so and are encouraged to apply. LEAs that have already submitted their applications can revise their applications if needs have changed.
Please review the menu items below for more information on both processes. Click here to download a list of all ESSER Allocations.
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund is designated to support K-12 schools to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the declaration of statewide school closures. These are federal funds that are administered by the Arizona Department of Education. Arizona’s award is based on the proportionate share of Title I-A funds received in FY20 (SY19-20). The initial project term is March 13, 2020 - September 30, 2022.
90% of Arizona’s award ($249 million) must be sub-granted to LEAs. Funds are allocated based on each LEA’s proportionate share of Title I-A funds received in FY20 (SY19-20).
5%of the total award may be reserved for ADE state-level activities to support K-12 relief, prevention and preparation, and recovery efforts
No more than 5%of the total award may be reserved by ADE for administrative costs
Arizona LEAs were allocated $264 million in ESSER I funds to support local K-12 relief, prevention and preparation, and recovery efforts. In order to guarantee a baseline funding amount for every public school district and non-profit charter organization in the state, the Arizona Department of Education is contributing discretionary dollars we received from the CARES Act to ensure every non-profit LEA – regardless of size or location – received at least $50,000 in base funding.
Funds will remain available for obligation through September 30, 2022. All non-profit district and charter LEAs may apply for these funds. Grant applications are now available for LEAs on the ADE Grants Management (GME) system for the FY20 Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund Grant.
ESSER Funds are highly flexible, and are designed to help address local relief, prevention and preparation, and recovery efforts relative to responding to COVID-19. Supplement and not supplant requirements do not apply to LEA use of ESSER Fund monies.
LEAs may use their funds for any of the following categories depending on local needs:
Any activity allowed under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
e.g.: Title I-A, Title I-C (Migrant Education),Title I-D (Neglected and Delinquent Students), Title II-A, Title III-A (English Language Learners), Title IV-A, Title IV-B 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Title V-B REAP (SRSA and RLIS),Title VI-A (Indian Education), Title VII (Impact Aid)
Any activity allowed under the following Federal education acts:
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins Act)
McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act
Adult Education and Family Literacy Act
Native Hawaiian Education Act and the Alaska Native Educational Equity, Support, and Assistance Act
For the following COVID-19 related relief, prevention, and recovery efforts:
Coordination of preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies with State, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments, and other relevant agencies, to improve coordinated responses among such entities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus
Providing principals and others school leaders with the resources necessary to address the needs of individual schools
Activities to address the unique needs of low-income children or students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth, including how outreach and service delivery will meet the needs of each population
Developing and implementing procedures and systems to improve the preparedness and response efforts of LEAs
Training and professional development for staff of the LEA on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases
Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities of an LEA, including buildings operated by such an agency
Planning for and coordinating during long term closures, including meals to eligible students, technology for online learning, guidance for carrying out requirements under the IDEA, and how to ensure other educational services can continue to be provided consistent with all federal, state, and local requirements
Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity) for students that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including low-income students and students with disabilities, which may include assistive technology or adaptive equipment
Providing mental health services and supports
Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and supplemental after school programs, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care
Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in LEAs and continuing to employ existing staff of the LEA
Unallowable uses of ESSER Funds:
CARES Act funds generally cannot be used for bonuses, merit pay, or similar expenditures, unless related to disruptions or closures resulting from COVID-19
Subsidizing or offsetting executive salaries and benefits of individuals who are not employees of the SEA or LEAs
Expenditures related to state or local teacher or faculty unions or associations
There are a number of webinars & guidance documents available to help you in your application process. The application process is broken apart by Title I LEAs* and Non-Title I LEAs. Please review the appropriate guidance accordingly before starting your application.
Please reach out to [email protected] for questions on the application process, revision process, allocations, or for more information. You may also contact Peter Laing, Policy Advisor, at (602) 364-3842 or [email protected].