In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Department of Education has released grants for which local education agencies (LEAs) can apply through the Texas Education Agency (TEA). ESSER III was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act); the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA); and the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
American Rescue Plan (ARP): ESSER III
In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) was signed into law. ARP dedicated $122 billion to the Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief (ESSER) Fund. This grant is known as ESSER III. The intent and purpose of ESSER III is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus on students.
Arlington ISD received funds to address the previous and current impact of COVID-19 on elementary and secondary campuses. Based on guidance from TEA and feedback from students, parents, and other stakeholder groups, Arlington ISD’s plan for ESSER III funds is focused on evidence-based practices to support teachers, provide high-quality instructional materials, create more time for learning, and empower parents.
Arlington ISD is not required to provide equitable services to Private/Nonprofit schools with ESSER III funds. Private/Nonprofit schools can apply for funding from TEA under the Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) grant.
Arlington ISD is required by statute to set aside 20 percent of its total ESSER III allocation to address learning loss. Arlington ISD is also required to develop two plans: a Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan and a Use of Funds Plan. ESSER III funds can be used to cover expenses incurred March 13, 2020, through September 30, 2024.