School Funding

School Safety Today: ESSER Refresher and New School Funding Opportunities

Dr. Paula Love, Founder of RFP Match, joined Tyler Kern for an encore on ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) to talk about the latest funding available to help schools. There were lots of updates and opportunities to share.

Since the pandemic, several different COVID relief acts and programs have provided much needed funds to the education sector. All of this funding adds up to some of the most significant opportunities for education in US history.

“ESSER 1, under the CARES Act, we got $13.2 billion,” Love said. While she thought it was a large sum of money, Love soon discovered that it was one of the smallest. “Under CRRSA money, we got $54.3 billion. That’s almost four times what we got in ESSER 1. In ESSER 3, we got $123 billion.

Funding is available for all three ESSER cycles, but fund commitment deadlines are approaching. The ESSER 1 obligation date is September 30, 2022. The expenditure of these funds, or liquidation date, is the end of January 2023. Thus, if schools seek to access ESSER 1 funds, they must begin on process quickly. The obligation date for ESSER 2 is September 30, 2023, with an end-of-spend date of September 2024. Finally, the obligation date for ESSER 3 is September 30, 2024.

After determining that funds are available, schools can use the money for different needs. These needs have evolved with the course of the pandemic,

“Where we are now is not just keeping schools open, but how to transform and innovate using these funds going forward,” Love said.

There are 20 different permitted uses for ESSER funds, and it’s critical for schools to understand them,” but they are broad, flexible, and allow many school districts to be transformational and innovative in the use of these funds. .” These uses include school security solutions. Learn more about financing for your specific state here.