The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021, Public Law 117-2, was enacted on March 11, 2021. It is a $1.9 trillion relief and economic stimulus package that includes significant additional COVID-19 related support for the education system. Under the umbrella of the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF), ARPA includes an additional $122.775 billion for the Elementary and Secondary Schools Education Relief (ESSER) fund, an additional $2.75 billion for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Emergency Assistance for Nonpublic Schools (EANS) fund, $3 billion in funding to IDEA programs, and a host of other programs to benefit communities, families and children (for a high-level summary of these programs please refer to the Memo: American Rescue Plan Act Overview. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has created a helpful COVID-19 Relief Funding for K-12 Schools Fact Sheet comparing the three relief bills.
Of the total $122.775 billion in ESSER III funds, $800 million is being reserved for the US Department of Education to identify and assist homeless children and youth to attend school and receive wrap-around services. Similar to the CARES and CRRSA Acts, SEAs with approved applications would receive funds based on their share of Title I funding. Ninety percent of funds received by an SEA must be allocated to LEAs based on each LEA’s Title I share, leaving 10 percent for SEA-level activities. The allocations for each LEA are available in Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Allocations: ESSER I, ESSER II and ESSER III.
- There is no Equitable Services Requirement for ESSER III
- The period of performance is March 13, 2020 – September 30, 2023
- Allowable Costs are the same as those for ESSER II
- There are specific requirements for spending and reporting in ESSER III that are outlined in this Fact Sheet from the US Department of Education.
The USED has awarded 25 percent (ARP Homeless I) of each State’s ARP-HCY allocation now in order to provide immediate funding as a supplement to McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) funds. The USED will award the remaining 75 percent (ARP Homeless II) after USED completes necessary regulations to change the EHCY program’s required competitive subgrant process for the ARP Homeless II funds.
- Total ARP Homeless I allocation: $466,994.
Total ARP Homeless I allocation to LEAs: $350,246.
GEER EANS II
The GEER EANS program was created through CRRSA in December 2020 to will provide support to Vermont’s eligible independent schools. GEER EANS II is an extension of that program with the significant difference that reimbursement for costs incurred is not allowed in GEER EANS II. Instead, eligible independent schools can work through the Agency of Education to receive goods and services for allowable costs. Vermont will receive $2.628 million In GEER EANS funds and is awaiting further guidance from the US Department of Education.
ARPA provides slightly more than $3 billion in funding for several programs under IDEA. Specifically, the bill provides $2.58 billion for the Part B, Grants to States program; $200 million for the Section preschool program, and $250 million for the Part C Infants and Toddlers program. Vermont will receive funds through IDEA Section 611, Section 619, and IDEA part C funds.
- Part B (611)- $6,625,874
- Part B (619)- $472,522
- Part C- $1,040,479
ARPA includes language extending Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfers (P-EBT) through Summer 2021. However, we are awaiting guidance from USDA as to whether this would be applicable to Vermont students, and if so, how the extension should be conducted.
Link to Fund Webpages
- Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III
- GEER Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (GEER EANS) II
- ARP – Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY)
Link to General Guidance
- COVID-19 Relief Funding for K-12 Schools Fact Sheet
- ESSER Fact Sheet from the US Department of Education
- American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
- Federal Education Funding Planning Guidance