Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, funds are available for state and local education leaders to address students’ needs during a national emergency.

The U.S. Department of Education, recently announced that more than $13.2 billion in emergency relief funds is now available for state and local education agencies to support K-12 learning for students whose education has been disrupted by the COVID-19.

The Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund (ESSER Fund) is available for K -12 education including public schools, private schools and charter schools. Money from the ESSER fund can be used for immediate needs, such as tools and resources for distance education, ensuring student health and safety, and developing and implementing plans for the next school year.

State education agencies (SEAs) must allocate 90% of their ESSER funds to local education agencies (LEAs), including public charter schools, in proportion to the amount of fiscal year 2019 funds the LEA received under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Up to 10% of the state education agency’s award may be retained for the state agency to use to address needs related to responding to coronavirus. After one year, SEAs must return any funds that have not been awarded, and those funds will be reallocated to states. State allocations for the ESSER Fund can be found here.

State education departments have until July 1, 2020 to apply for ESSER funds.

For information on the federal funds that have been allocated during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact Sharon Seyler at sseyler@njsba.org .