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Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund III (ESSER III or ARP ESSER)

The American Rescue Plan Act, 2021 (ARP Act or ARPA) provides an additional $122 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund III (ESSER III or ARP ESSER). $1.1 billion will be awarded to Oregon. ESSER III Grants will be awarded to LEAs in the proportion they received funds under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in fiscal year 2020. ESSER III Fund grants can be used to reimburse eligible expenses incurred between March 13, 2020 and September 30, 2024.

Note: The ARP Act does not include an Equitable Services provision for the ESSER III Fund grants. Funding for non-public schools will be provided under the Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) Program.

For questions about this program, please email the ESSER team.

ESSER III District Plan: Drop-in Q&A Sessions

ODE will be hosting several hour-long Q&A Sessions to provide assistance to districts in crafting their ESSER III District Plans. For more information on these sessions, please refer to the Invitation: ESSER III District Plan Q & A Sessions announcement. The dates and corresponding Zoom links for each of these sessions is listed below. Captioned recordings will be posted after the sessions.

ESSER III District Plan: In-depth Sessions

District Supplemental Plans

The ARP Act requires each district to submit two supplemental plans as part of their ESSER III grant: a District Plan and a Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan. Please read the ESSER III District Plan Requirements and Templates announcement for more detailed information.

Charter School Plan

Allocations

Assurances and Certifications

In response to the requirements identified in the ARP Act, ODE is requesting that each LEA review, sign and return the assurances and certifications document linked below to the ESSER Team. This must be completed prior to the release of any ESSER III resources, which are currently available in ODE’s Electronic Grant Management System (EGMS).

Please read the ESSER III Update: Assurances announcement for more information.

Capital Expenditure Approval

All capital expenditures using ESSER II or ESSER III funds must be approved by ODE to be considered an eligible use of funds. Please fill out and submit the following approval form for each capital expenditure your district would like to use ESSER funds for.

Reimbursement

Program Announcements and Updates

Maintenance of Equity (MoEquity)

Reporting

February of each year the US Department of Education (USDOE) requires each state to submit data on the expenditure of their ESSER I, II, and III funds to fulfill federal reporting requirements. As this is the first year states will be reporting on ESSER II and III, the USDOE is seeking state input on their proposed Data Collection Form. Below are the comments ODE has submitted to the USDOE.

ESSER III State Plan

Additional Information

ESSER III and Public Charter Schools

The ARP Act does not directly address allocation of district ESSER III funds to district-sponsored public charter schools that are not standalone LEAs. The clear legislative intent, however, is to benefit all public schools and students regardless of school type. ODE asks that districts include their charter schools on equal footing with other district schools, when determining the most important educational needs as a result of COVID-19, consistent with the intent of the ARP Act. LEAs must meaningfully engage all school leaders, including charter school leaders, in determining their plans for using ESSER III funds. Districts that sponsor public charter schools may also plan to pass through a proportionate share of the ESSER III funds. Public charter schools that receive ESSER III funds must comply with the same allowable uses and 20% fund designation requirements as districts.

ESSER III and ESDs

The ARP Act does not directly address allocation of district ESSER III funds to ESDs and no funds from the ESSER III set aside have been awarded to ESDs at this time. As such, ESDs are not required to complete the Assurances and Certifications or the District ESSER III Plans. 

ESDs are also not required to submit Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plans, per State Board rule. However, to keep both students and staff healthy and safe, it is going to be important for ESDs, particularly those who have schools or who have students on site, to have the kind of Communicable Disease Management Plan for the coming school year that they’ve had in the past year.

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