ESSER Information (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Department of Education (USDE) released three grants for school districts to apply for funds. In Texas, school districts apply for these funds through the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The first grant was available through the federal CARES Act(Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security). Santa Fe applied for and received the ESSER I grant for $411,181. These funds were used to pay for costs incurred during the spring, summer and fall of 2020 for virtual instruction, PPE, and other costs.
The ESSER III grant is part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP). This grant requires that to receive funds districts must create a Use of Funds Plan and a Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan. Santa Fe ISD is in the process of developing these plans for the application. On Thursday, June 17, school teams of teachers, parents, administrators and community members met to begin a needs assessment for the use of the funds. The intent of the ESSER III grant is to help safely open and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on students. In addition, at least 20% of the funds must be spent on: a) evidence-based interventions such as summer learning, extended day, comprehensive after school programs or extended year programs and b)ensure interventions respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on student populations as defined in the ESEA, Title I, Part A.
A draft of these plans can be found here with a link below for your input and comments.