CDE Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund



Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund

Districts can apply for ESSER III funds beginning today using the online application

Colorado school districts can begin applying for their share of the $777 million in American Recovery Plan Act (ESSER III) funds through an online application available today.

Due to the requirement from the U.S. Department of Education for states to allocate funds within 60 days of receipt, the application (approval & transmittal, assurances, and GEPA statement) must be submitted by Sunday, May 23. Districts will have until March 24, 2022 to submit the budget for ARP ESSER III.

ARP ESSER III funds can be used for a wide variety of expenses related to the  coronavirus pandemic, including purchasing cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment and educational technology as well as activities already allowed under other federal education laws (e.g., ESSA, IDEA). ARP ESSER III has an emphasis on measuring and addressing learning opportunity loss for at-risk students and safely reopening schools. All activities must be allowable, reasonable and necessary to prepare for, respond to, or prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Although the ARP ESSER III uses of funds are similar to those for ESSER I and II, there are important distinctions between ARP ESSER III, ESSER II, and ESSER programs, including the period of funds availability, equitable services to non-public schools, maintenance of effort, and a report on efforts to measure and address learning loss. Districts are also required to develop and seek public comment on plans for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services. This information must be made publicly available on the local educational agency’s website no later than 30 days after receiving the allocation of funds.

The U.S. Department of Education has delivered two-thirds of Colorado's total $1.1 billion allotment. The state will get the remaining one-third following the submission of an application for approval. 

Note: Districts can only draw down up to two-thirds of their allocation until CDE receives the full award to the state.

Questions can be directed to [email protected].


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