To say this has been a tough time for schools would be an enormous understatement. Educators have scrambled to develop entirely new ways of engaging and inspiring their classes. Students have struggled with virtual learning and feelings of isolation. Parents have felt the pressure of juggling their work-life with their family obligations. Returning to in-person learning has been a welcome relief community-wide and one that we all want to continue.
If there is a small sliver of a silver lining, it’s that K12 schools now have access to some economic relief due to the ESSER funds. Because we know navigating the various packages–what they mean and what they can be used for–can be a bit tricky, we put together an overview below.
Utilizing ESSER funds strategically for things like protecting the health and safety of students will be crucial in keeping schools open. Here are some details:
The “Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund” (ESSER) are three federal relief packages supporting K-12 schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ESSER funds provide a combined $193 billion to state education agencies (SEA), allocating 90% to Local Education Agencies (LEA).
School districts are LEAs and must apply to their SEA. Each SEA should have application information on its website. Additional resources can be found here, including application information for each state.
|ESSER I FundCoronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act||Sept. 30, 2022||$13.2 billion|
|ESSER II FundCoronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental Appropriations(CRRSA) Act||Sept. 30, 2023||$54 billion|
|ESSER III FundAmerican Rescue Plan Act (ARP)||Sept. 30, 2023||$126 billion|
ESSER Funds are available through September 2023; however, SEAs have one year to distribute them. View the allocation of ESSER funding here.
ESSER funds are eligible for use across a wide range of activities to address needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including any activity authorized by the ESEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), or Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins CTE).
Additional funding areas include the following:
Volan Technology’s multifunctional solution meets the definition of eligible expenses for ESSER funds. When used strategically, ESSER funding can respond to COVID-19 and implement solutions that will help build and maintain a safe learning environment beyond the pandemic.
Contact tracing and sanitization are critical components of effective strategies to identify and reduce transmission of COVID-19. Volan Technology’s all-in-one solution has the capability to run a precise contact trace across thousands instantly. As a bonus, the data can be used to identify sanitization paths of infected cases. Save significant dollars in manual contact tracing, end mass quarantines, and rebuild confidence in the school community.
When it comes to emergency preparedness, the landscape of school safety is constantly shifting. Changes to regulations require the right tools to give your community peace of mind. Volan Technology’s emergency notification system gives you the revolutionary ability to report the specific type of incident in an emergency. This allows you to send the best possible assistance to exactly where it’s needed.
As students return to school, make the most of in-person instruction time by automating time-consuming processes. Automatically roster students as they enter or exit the school building and the classrooms, letting teachers and faculty immediately know if a child is present. Save up to 5 minutes per class, cumulatively recovering up to 20 teaching hours per day.
For more information, talk to our team about issues you face in opening schools safely and explore how ESSER funds can provide lasting solutions beyond the pandemic.
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