On Dec. 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 Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) II Fund and the Governor’s Emergency Education (GEER) II fund, a new program under GEER for non-public schools (the GEER Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools or GEER EANS), an extension of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) fund through December 31, 2021, and support for Child Nutrition programs. 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.
Similar to the earlier CARES Act, states will receive ESSER II 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. Vermont will receive $126,973,363 in ESSER II funds, of which $114,276,027 will go to LEAs. The period of performance for ESSER II is March 13, 2020 – September 30, 2023. The allowable costs for ESSER II are the same as those for ESSER (other specific details for ESSER/ESSER II can be found in Fact Sheet: Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund II). There is no Equitable Services Requirement for ESSER II.
In addition to ESSER II, CRRSA also provided $1,930,818 for GEER II. Similar to ESSER II, GEER II has the same set of allowable costs and eligible entities. The period of performance for GEER II is through September 30, 2023. The use of these funds will be determined by the Governor’s office and the grant will be administered by the Agency of Education. The period of performance for GEER II is through September 30, 2023 (other specific details for GEER/GEER II can be found in Fact Sheet: Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund II).
The GEER EANS is a new grant program for non-public schools. This is an opt-in program that the State must apply for through the US Department of Education by February 8, 2021 and requires that AOE “shall prioritize services or assistance to non-public schools that enroll low-income students and are most impacted by the qualifying emergency.” If the state’s application is approved, the Agency will receive $4,284,000 of which AOE may retain $200,000 to administer the grant program. The period of performance for GEER EANS is March 13, 2020 – September 30, 2023.
The deadline for CRF has been extended through December 31, 2021. All CRF grants administered by AOE ended on December 30, 2020 and the use of any unused funds will be determined by the state.
CRRSA includes funding for school food service programs and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors (Chapter 3, Section 721) who lost anticipated federal child nutrition reimbursement funds as a result of COVID-19. School Food Authorities (SFAs) will be eligible for 55% of the difference in federal child nutrition reimbursement received in Fall 2020 compared to Fall 2019. CACFP sponsors will be eligible for 55% of the difference in federal child nutrition reimbursement received in Spring 2020 compared to Spring 2019.
Link to Fund Webpages
Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) II
Link to General Guidance
- COVID-19 Relief Funding for K-12 Schools Fact Sheet
- ESSER Fact Sheet from the US Department of Education
- Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021
- Federal Education Funding Planning Guidance