This webpage links to resources for all COVID-19 Emergency Federal Funding sources administered by the Vermont Agency of Education. Each linking page includes an overview of the fund and its requirements, key dates, links to the grant application, information concerning reporting and monitoring, and any relevant guidance from the US Department of Education or the Vermont AOE.
On December 27, 2020 the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 or CRRSA Act was signed into law. CRRSA provided significant additional funding for educational entities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the ESSER ($126,973,363 to Vermont) and GEER programs ($1,930,818 to Vermont), a new program under the GEER fund for non-public schools (the GEER Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools or GEER EANS) ($4,284,000 to Vermont), an extension of the CRF fund through December 31, 2021, and support for Child Nutrition programs.
The CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, created the $30.75 billion Education Stabilization Fund (ESF). This fund provides $13.5 billion in pandemic relief aid for K-12 schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. The state of Vermont received approximately $31 million in ESSER funds, of which 10% or $3,114,836 was set aside for the AOE to develop state-wide approaches to help LEAs respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to the ESSER funds, the Governor’s office received approximately $4.5 million through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund, another component of the ESF. Governor Scott’s office determined that it would use the funds to support CTE institutions across the state and that the AOE would administer grants to support remote technology and infrastructure to meet the needs of these institutions.
A third and much larger component of the CARES is the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), which has many potential uses. The Vermont legislature made available a portion of these funds ($50 million) to provide additional pandemic relief to schools. On October 2, 2020 an additional $53 million of CRF dollars were made available to preK-12 schools (Sec. B.1112 2020 Acts and Resolves No. 120, Sec. A.50) through the LEA grant program (total of $84,300,000) including regional career technical center school districts, as defined in 16 V.S.A. §1571; the Child Nutrition Equipment grant ($4 million); and an increase to the Indoor Air Quality grant (total of $13.5 million). Under CARES, ESSER funds are distributed by formula to LEAs. CRF and GEER funds are not; they are discretionary.