The American Rescue Plan Act provides resources to school districts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Education portion of this funding, the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief's (ESSER III or ARP ESSER) purpose is to help schools and districts safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and must respond to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students, and particularly those disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The priorities of the ESSER III funds are to support activities to address needs arising from the coronavirus pandemic, this includes:
Any activity authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), 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);
Coordination of preparedness and response efforts of LEAs with State and local public health departments, and other relevant agencies, to improve coordinated responses among such entities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. Developing strategies that describe and implementing public health protocols how they might align with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff;
Developing and implementing procedures and systems to improve the preparedness and response efforts of LEAs;
School facility repairs and improvements, such as efforts to improve indoor air quality to reduce risk of airborne virus transmission and exposure to environmental hazards. Inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, replacement, and upgrade projects to improve the indoor air quality in school facilities, including mechanical and non-mechanical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, filtering, purification and other air cleaning, fans, control systems, and window and door repair and replacement;
Training and professional development on sanitizing and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases;
Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities of a LEA, including buildings;
Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, connectivity, assistive technology and adaptive equipment) for students who are served by the LEA that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their teachers, including low-income students and students with disabilities;
Providing student mental health services and supports and maximize capacity for coordination to connect students to behavioral and mental health supports and services, including with school-based and community based-services and providers the hiring of counselors;
Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in LEA and continuing to employ existing staff of the LEA
Awards are based on each district's share of funds received under Title I, Part A of ESEA in fiscal year 2021.
Federal CFDA 84.425
An estimated $1.6 billion will be available for eligible districts. FY22 ESSER III Fund allocations will be posted on the Grants Management website as soon as they are available.
Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available for this Fund Code, it will be distributed under the same guidelines that appear in this RFP document.
Districts are permitted to use ESSER III funds to address the impact COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools. Please see the list of priorities above. In addition, districts must reserve at least 20 percent of its ESSER III funds to address lost instructional time through the implementation of evidence-based interventions and ensure that those interventions respond to students' social, emotional, and academic needs and address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented student subgroups. Districts must consult with stakeholders within the community, and determine the best use of the funds before submitting their grant application, which serves as the district's ESSER III implementation plan.
A Maintenance of Equity Assurance will be included on your ESSER III application as a condition of receiving ESSER III funds. Districts must agree to the following in FY22 and FY23:
State and Local funds: Your district will not reduce the per pupil allocation of state and local funds to your high-poverty schools by more than the total reduction of these funds to all schools divided by the total number of students enrolled in all your schools (if any) divided by the total number of students enrolled in all of your schools for that fiscal year, and
Full-time Equivalent Staff: Your district will not reduce the per pupil, full-time equivalent staff in any highpoverty school by an amount that exceeds the total reduction in full-time equivalent staff in all of your schools (if any) divided by the number of students enrolled in all of your schools for that fiscal year.
Within 30 days of receiving ESSER III funds, a district must make its Return to In-Person Instruction Plan publicly available on its website. A district must then review its plan every 6 months thereafter and revise as necessary (including consulting any changes to CDC guidance) until the end of the grant award. Note: The District Reopening Plan submitted to DESE for SY2020-2021, likely satisfies this requirement for the initial plan if it was published on the district's website and included public input.
FY22: Upon approval – 6/30/2022 (Year 1)
The period of availability for FY22 ESSER III grant awards will be extended into FY23 7/1/2022 – 6/30/2023 (Year 2), FY24 7/1/2023 – 6/30/2024 (Year 3), and FY25 7/1/2024 – 9/30/2024 (Year 4).
Resource Allocation Strategy and Planning
Federal Grants at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, October 4, 2021
Note: A start date cannot be given until we have a substantially approvable information and budget for the grant.
Quick Reference Guide: District Preparation for ESSER III
Budget detail and description of line-item information
Applicants may only legally claim expenses to the grant once they have final DESE approval and have been given a start date. The start date for the grant is the date on which the district submits substantially approvable budget and information for the grant.
Submit the application and required grant materials in EdGrants.
In EdGrants, districts are required to create and name the project.
Register to the funding opportunity named: DESE - FY22 Fund Code 119 - ESSER III (Federal) ENT/ALL
Please use the following naming convention for your "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:
Create and name the project: FY22 FC 119 Applicant Name ESSER III Applicant Number
For example, Abington (0001) would name the file as:
FY22 FC 119 Abington ESSER III 0001
In EdGrants, district staff enter the grant budget, and upload all required documents listed in the Required Forms section of this RFP and outlined on the Attachments List section of the EdGrants Application Submission.
For additional submission instructions, see the "Read Me First" tab of the ESSER III Application workbook.
For Guidance Documents regarding EdGrants, visit EdGrants: User Guides and Information.
Please note: It is up to the district to determine who it wants to add as EdGrants Front Office users to submit the grant application as well as payment request information. Please review the EdGrants: User Security Controls to make informed decisions regarding assigning your district level users.
Last Updated: July 9, 2021
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
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