ESSER II Fund
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), was signed into law on December 27, 2020 and provides an additional $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II Fund).
ESSER II Fund awards to SEAs are in the same proportion as each State received funds under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year 2020.
This new funding – more than four times the initial awards under the CARES Act – is intended to help the Nebraska Department of Education and Nebraska public school districts to restore and maintain high-quality learning environments and take comprehensive action to mitigate the unprecedented learning loss that many of our most vulnerable students have endured.
Recommendations and best practices for school districts to consider to effectively address significant learning loss and take actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the students and families who depend on our K-12 schools should include:
- Support At-Risk Populations
- Braid ESSER II and ED Grants to Support Teaching and Learning
- Title II funds to train teachers and school leaders on teaching in blended learning environments,
- Title IV, Part A funds on educational technology aligned both to any ESSER purchases to support longer-term and sustainability technology plans,
- IDEA, Part B funds to support the needs of students with disabilities in new learning environments,
- Perkins funds to adjust programs of study given new needs, and
- Braiding several ED grants to support the social and emotional needs of both students and staff.
- Utilize the Launch Nebraska Coronavirus Resource Website
- Support a Hierarchy of Digital Learning Needs: Technology, Devices, Software Systems, Digital Content, and Professional Development and Training
- Provide Supplemental Student Learning Opportunities
Although the ESSER II uses of funds are similar to those for ESSER, there are important distinctions between the ESSER II and ESSER programs, including the period of funds availability, equitable services to non-public schools, and reporting on efforts to measure and address learning loss.