Although ESSER funds are distributed to LEAs based on the same formula used for Title I, Part A allocations, these allocations are not Title I, Part A funds. Rather, ESSER is its own, separate, and flexible program intended to support COVID-19 response efforts. Guidance states that all grants be used “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus”, including continuing educational services to students during school building closures, developing, and implementing plans for the return to normal operations.
This Frequently Asked Questions document seeks to answer questions that are not easily understood from a plain reading of Section 18003 and other parts of the CARES Act or the ESSER Fund Certifications and Agreements (PDF). It was developed in direct response to questions the Nebraska Department of Education has received from LEA grant administrators preparing to implement the ESSER Fund program and support LEAs in effectively utilizing ESSER funds to meet the needs of Nebraska public school and non-public school students. The information is intended to provide guidance on how an LEA may choose to spend the funds to meet the needs of its students, including students with disabilities, English language learners (ELLs), students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth.