How to ensure your ESSER funding delivers the right results
Empower educators with funding to cultivate continued education that helps students and teachers succeed
The education landscape is ever-changing, and thanks to emerging technologies, there will always be opportunities to build stronger, vibrant, and more immersive learning environments.
And there’s no better place to start than with our teachers.
Teachers directly impact students, making it essential to provide them with the tools they need to ensure a well-rounded education for all, including access to the latest and best research-based practices, chances to collaborate with peers in a learning environment, and the ability to build out their teacher toolbox and strategies.
The best way to do that is through professional development, which enables teachers to grow, evolve, and improve their students’ experiences through technologies that are focused on digital workplace, virtual desktop, and communication and collaboration. One of the easiest and most effective current funding avenues for professional development is the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.
What is ESSER funding?
ESSER funding was authorized under three separate stimulus bills. The funds are intended to help elementary and secondary schools address the impact of COVID-19 on students.
There were three rounds of funding:
- ESSER I: Passed on March 27, 2020, as part of the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act; $13.2 billion appropriated
- ESSER II: Passed on Dec. 27, 2020, as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act; $54.3 billion appropriated
- ESSER III: Passed on March 11, 2021, as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act; $122 billion appropriated
ESSER funds were allocated to state education agencies (SEAs) based on a distribution formula. These SEAs then use another formula to reallocate at least 90% of their allotted funds to local education agencies, including public charter schools.
Ways to utilize ESSER funding for professional development
Professional development is specifically authorized in ESSER for a number of scenarios to improve student learning:
- Meet the unique needs of English learners
- Deliver instruction to children with disabilities
- Increase awareness of mental health literacy
- Implement online learning for adult education
- Provide meaningful learning opportunities for students through technology
- Deliver remote classroom instruction and virtual or remote work-based learning opportunities
- Offer professional learning opportunities for teachers on strategies for the effective use of technology for remote, hybrid, and accelerated learning
As of December 31, 2021, all of the ESSER funds have been distributed and must be obligated by the following deadlines:
- ESSER I obligation deadline is September 30, 2022
- ESSER II obligation deadline is September 30, 2023
- ESSER III obligation deadline is September 30, 2024
The first deadline is fast approaching, and the others will be here before you know it. If you want to learn more about using ESSER funding for professional development, SHI is here to help.
Navigate ESSER funding with a trusted partner
Not only will SHI work with you to get the funding relief your school needs, we can help you identify how to use ESSER funds for your desired professional development services.
In conjunction with Grants Office, the SHI Grants Support Program will ensure your ESSER professional development expenditures are properly aligned with program guidance and that your professional development IT solutions match your school’s goals.
Once everything is in place, SHI can help you design a comprehensive and customized training program to maximize your technology investments and get the most out of professional development.
Invest in your teachers and see students succeed
Teachers are the most important resource in educating our students, playing a critical role in building a strong learning community that promotes academic, social, and emotional well-being. Schools that sufficiently invest in teachers and provide them with the resources they need to learn and grow will see their students thrive. It boils down to strong professional development. With ESSER funding, you can make this a reality and create a learning environment that inspires, innovates, and meets the needs of all students.
Ready to give your teachers the ultimate back-to-school gift? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to build a professional development plan for your ESSER funds today.