Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the ESSER III funds?
For more information, visit the Texas Education Agency FAQ Website
What is the purpose of the ARP ESSER III funds?
The intent and purpose of ARP of 2021, ESSER III funding is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on students.
Are the ESSER III funds required to be used for specific purposes?
Yes, LEAs must expend a minimum of 20 percent of their grant funds on:
- Evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning, extended day comprehensive after school programs, or extended school year programs; and
- Ensure interventions respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on student populations as defined in ESEA, Title I, Part A, students experiencing homelessness, and youth in foster care.
Are there recommended uses of ESSER III funds that will assist LEAs in addressing the impact of the COVID pandemic and disruptions leading to learning loss? (TEA FAQ AU-Q3)
While keeping in mind the purpose and requirements under ESSER III related to accelerating student learning, TEA strongly encourages school systems to plan for how to use these one-time federal funds expeditiously over the entire covered period to facilitate a more comprehensive long-term approach to learning acceleration. This may include aligned strategies that are currently part of a district’s current plans and strategies. A qualitative review of draft local learning acceleration plans revealed the following trends and suggestions, including but not limited to:
- Professional Development: comprehensive Reading Academies, high-quality instructional materials, dyslexia training, professional development stipends, technology integration training;
- Extended Instructional Time: extended day, extended year, high-dosage tutoring, summer learning;
- Staffing: tutors, reduced class sizes, small group instruction, staff retention and recruitment incentive pay, after school enrichment programs, instructional coaching and leadership;
- Facilities: ventilation, cleaning, HVAC systems, specialized instructional spaces;
- Technology: devices, infrastructure upgrades, learning management systems, digital tools, educational application;
- Mental Health and Behavioral Supports: social workers, at-risk coordinators, additional counseling services, teacher training and programming, wrap-around and community partnerships.