The California Department of Education (CDE) published preliminary allocations for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds, which were authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act. The allocation spreadsheets also include the respective Resource Codes for the funding—3214 for the 20% set aside for learning loss mitigation and 3213 for the remaining balance, not to exceed 80%. The allocation can be found here.
In addition to the allocation schedules, the CDE has created a landing page for the American Rescue Plan to address other components of the funding, including the application, a list of allowable uses, spending deadlines, and state set asides. The application for the funds is not currently available but is expected to be available between June 1 and June 7.
One significant difference between ESSER III and its two predecessors is the federal requirement for local educational agencies (LEAs) to complete two plans:
- Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan (Plan)
- Expenditure Plan
Although the details and format of the plans are still to be determined, LEAs must seek public comment and take those comments into account in the development of the Plan. Additionally, the LEA must periodically, but no less frequently than every six months, review and, as appropriate, revise the Plan. Public comment must be taken into account in determining whether to revise the Plan. A template for the Plan is scheduled to be released by the CDE between June 1 and June 7.
The ESSER III funds may be used for any allowable expenditure incurred on or after March 13, 2020, and are available for obligation until September 30, 2024. LEAs that apply for the funds before June 25, 2021, may expect to receive their first apportionment in August 2021. In accordance with the federal cash management rules, the first apportionment will equal 10% of an LEA’s ESSER III allocation, and subsequent apportionments will be based on quarterly expenditure reporting.
There are still a significant number of details to be reconciled, including the details of the plans, and accounting treatment of the ESSER funds. School Services of California Inc. (SSC) will continue to publish information as it becomes available, but in the interim, SSC has updated its COVID-19 Revenue Look-Up Tool to incorporate the figures released by the CDE.