ESSER III Funds & Safe In-Person Return

Under the American Rescue Plan (ARP), school districts around the country are receiving funding to address the impact of COVID-19 on students' academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. This funding is known as "ESSER III" — "ESSER," short for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, and "III" being the third set of COVID-related federal relief grants since the pandemic began.

ESSER III supplements ESSER I, created by the CARES Act in March 2020, and ESSER II, created by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act in December 2020. The performance period for the ESSER III funds runs through September 30, 2024.

How much money will ESSER III provide?
In the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, the U.S. Department of Education is providing $121.9 billion for local educational agencies (LEAs) to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.

Germantown School District has been guaranteed $663,385 of ESSER III dollars.

Although there are restrictions, there is some flexibility in how we can spend these one-time funds. We must be cautious in allocating this money where there will be recurring costs post completion of the ESSER III grant.

How will Germantown School District use its ESSER III funds?
The requirements of this third installment are more stringent than the first two, with an emphasis on assessing and addressing learning loss. These one-time funds are intended to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19 and the effects the pandemic has brought to school districts.

Requirements include:
Develop and post a Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan
Reserve a minimum of 20 percent of funds for the purpose of addressing learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions
Allocate remaining funds toward the safe opening of schools
Provide stakeholders the opportunity to share feedback on the use of the funds to be spent through 2024

Share your feedback
Gathering stakeholder feedback is an important part of our ESSER III planning process. Questions, comments, or concerns about the District's Safe Return and Use of Funds Plans were collected through March 31, 2022. A summary of these responses is being compiled and will be presented to the Board in April.