Resources for CARES Act Grant Fund Distribution

Last Thursday, NSBA provided the following information about the CARES Act Grant Fund Distribution.  A conference call was held regarding content within the grant, and the means by which States would be receiving the funding to distribute to the Local Educational Agencies (school districts).  Districts are slated to be receiving approximately 80% of what they received for Title I funding, and the uses of the funds are quite broad.  Here are some other highlights.  In addition you can find out more information by clicking on the links that are provided below.

  • The funding can be retroactive to March 13.
  • The funds must be expended by September, 2021.
  • For the State and Local Money: It is critical superintendents start NOW to plan how they will use the money when it comes in. From where we sit, the push for quick distribution means it has been a scramble to put together the application. USED has committed to grant approval within 3 days of receipt of funds, assuming the state applications are accurate. State should be working now to ensure they will have their accounts set up to receive and distribute funds. CCSSO will send out a draft guidance document in terms of allowability for money for salaries. Districts can start planning now on how they want to use the money.
  • For the Governor’s Money: Governors are applying this week. NGA is reporting that they are hearing from governors that the purpose of the funding is to fill the gaps for higher education and elementary/secondary education funds but they are struggling to assess where the gaps are. Governors will be relying on state agencies for help in determining where the funding needs to go. It is absolutely imperative that state associations and local superintendents in states are talking to SEAs and governors about where the funding needs to go.

Good afternoon,

Earlier this afternoon in a conference call to education stakeholders, the U.S. Department of Education announced they had released guidelines for the distribution of the funds allotted to the Education Stabilization Fund through the CARES Act for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund). The funds will total $13.2 B of the funds authorized under the legislation. State educational agencies (SEAs) will be awarded the funds for distribution to local educational agencies (LEAs), including charter schools that are LEAs. Below are key links to the information including the press release, the ESSER main page, sample cover letter to state education chiefs, the fund notice, state allocations table, and the certification and agreement. You can also find the last four links on the ESSER main page. As we learn more information, we will make it available.

Key Links:

Press Release on Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund).

ESSER Main Page

Cover Letter

Fund Notice

State Allocations Table

Certification and Agreement

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Chip Slaven
Chief Advocacy Officer
National School Boards Association
Alexandria, VA