Information for Schools on CRRSA Funding
What is CRRSA?
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) was signed into law by President Trump on December 27, 2020. This is sometimes referred to as HR-133. This $1.4 trillion, second round of stimulus funding provided $81.9 billion to the Education Stabilization Fund. It includes $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER ll), and $4 billion for The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER ll), of which $2.75B is directed to Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS).
CRRSA provided $81.9 billion to the Education Stabilization Fund. It includes $54.3 billion for ESSER II and $4 billion for GEER II.
What is ESSER ll, and How do Funds Flow?
- ESSER ll allocates monies to State Education Agencies (SEAs), who then sub-grant to Local Education Agencies (LEAs/Districts). ESSER ll refers to the allocation of $54.3 billion from CRRSA.
- SEAs are awarded ESSER ll funding in the same proportion as they receive their Title l, Part A funds and then disburse funds to the LEAs based on the proportion of Title 1, Part A funds each LEA received in the most recent fiscal year. Note: Although, ESSER funds are distributed to LEAs based on Title I, Part A allocations, they are not considered Title l funds and are not subject to Title l restrictions.
- The SEA can retain 10% of these funds for state education department efforts.
Availability of ESSER ll Funds
- The SEA must award the funds within one year of receiving them, which will be January 2022.
- The SEA is required to report within 6 months how funds are being used.
- Any funds not awarded by the SEA within one year of receipt must be returned for reallocation.
- The LEA must track use of ESSER ll funds separately.
- SEAs and LEAs must “obligate” funds by September 30, 2023, this includes the 12-month Tydings Amendment period. Funds are considered obligated on the date of a binding written commitment for services or work, even if services are delivered later. Download CRRSA ESSER ll Fact Sheet here.
- To view the state allocation of ESSER ll funds, download CRRSA State ESSER ll Allocation Table here.
- The Secretary of Education has recommended that districts use ESSER l funds prior to using their ESSER ll funds Details here, January 2021 Secretary of Education Letter.
How can ESSER ll Funds be Used?
- CRRSA (ESSER ll) funds may be used for pre-award costs dating back to March 13, 2020.
- Under CRRSA, use of ESSER ll funds is similar to CARES except for the explicit addition of learning loss, preparing schools for reopening, and testing, repairing, and upgrading projects to improve air quality in school buildings.
- The ESSER ll use of funds includes:
- Any activity authorized by the ESEA of 1965, including the Native Hawaiian Education Act and the Alaska Native Educational Equity, Support, and Assistance Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, or subtitle B of title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
- 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 their 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 local educational agencies.
- Training and professional development for staff of the local educational agency on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
- Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities of a local educational agency, including buildings operated by such agency.
- Planning for and coordinating during long-term closures, including for how to provide meals to eligible students, how to provide technology for online learning to all students, how to provide guidance for carrying out requirements under 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 who are served by the local educational agency 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 afterschool 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.
- Addressing learning loss among students, including low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care, of the LEA, including by—
- Administering and using high-quality assessments that are valid and reliable, to accurately assess students’ academic progress and assist educators in meeting students’ academic needs, including through differentiating instruction.
- Implementing evidence-based activities to meet the comprehensive needs of students.
- Providing information and assistance to parents and families on how they can effectively support students, including in a distance learning environment.
- Tracking student attendance and improving student engagement in distance education.
- School facility repairs and improvements to enable operation of schools to reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards, and to support student health needs.
- 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.
- Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in local educational agencies and continuing to employ existing staff of the local educational agency.
What are GEER II and EANS?
Under CRRSA, over $4 billion is provided for The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER ll), with $2.75 billion reserved for Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) and the remaining $1.3 billion to be used to supplement the awarded GEER funds to each state.
- This additional funding distributed through the GEER fund formula is referred to as GEER ll. It awards formula grants to Governors for the purpose of providing LEAs, institutions of higher education and other education related entities with emergency assistance to address the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had, and continues to have, on students and parents.
- The EANS Program awards formula grants to Governors (with approved Certifications and Agreement) for the purpose of providing services or assistance to eligible non-public schools.
Availability of GEER ll Funds
- GEER ll funds may be used for pre-award costs dating back to March 13, 2020.
- Governors have one year, from the date of the State’s award, to award funds — January 2022.
- Any funds not awarded by the Governor within one year of receiving the State’s award, must be returned for reallocation.
- Funds are available for obligation by Governors and subrecipients (LEAs) through September 30, 2023. Download CRRSA GEER State Allocation Table here.
- Funding is subject to State complying with maintenance of effort provisions.
- The LEA must track use of GEER ll funds separately.
Availability of EANS Funds
- An SEA is required to make applications available to non-public schools within 30 days of receiving funds, and to approve or deny the application within 30 days of receiving the application.
- An SEA must obligate all funds for services or assistance to non-public schools within six months of receiving the funds.
- Any funds not obligated by the SEA must be returned for reallocation.
How can GEER ll Funds be Used?
- Governors may use funds to:
- Provide emergency support to LEAs most impacted by COVID-19 to ensure their “on-going functionality”,
- Provide support through a subgrant/ contract to other LEAs, Institutions of Higher Education, and education-related entities “deemed essential” for carrying out emergency educational services, providing child-care and early childhood education, providing social and emotional support, and protecting education related jobs, and
- Provide emergency support to institutions of higher education most impacted to ensure “on-going functionality”.
- Unless the Governor specifically directs, the LEAs have flexibility in determining how they use their GEER ll funds to prevent, prepare for, or respond to the coronavirus.
How can EANS Funds be Used?
- Under CRRSA, non-public schools under the EANS program can use services or assistance to address educational disruptions from COVID-19 for:
- supplies to sanitize, disinfect, and clean school facilities,
- personal protective equipment,
- improving ventilation systems, including windows or portable air purification systems to ensure healthy air in the non-public school,
- training and professional development for staff on sanitation, the use of PPE, and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases,
- physical barriers to facilitate social distancing,
- other materials, supplies, or equipment to implement public health protocols, including guidelines and recommendations from the CDC for the reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff during the qualifying emergency,
- expanding capacity to administer coronavirus testing, to conduct surveillance and contact tracing activities, and to support other activities,
- educational technology (including hardware, software, connectivity, assistive technology, and adaptive equipment) to assist students, educators, and other staff with remote or hybrid learning,
- redeveloping instructional plans, including curriculum development, for remote learning, hybrid learning, or to address learning loss,
- leasing of sites or spaces to ensure safe social distancing to implement public health protocols, including guidelines and recommendations from the CDC,
- reasonable transportation costs,
- initiating and maintaining education and support services or assistance for remote learning, hybrid learning, or to address learning loss, or
- reimbursement for the expenses of any services or assistance described above that a nonpublic school incurred on or after March 13, 2020, except for services or assistance under (C) (other than portable air purification systems, which are an allowable reimbursable expense), (D), (I), and (L)) or any expenses reimbursed through a loan guaranteed under the Paycheck Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)) as of December 27, 2020.