Local educational agencies that received Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security; Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations; or American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund allocations must submit an ESSER performance report for state fiscal year 2021 to satisfy federal reporting requirements, according to a memo from the New Jersey Department of Education.

The U.S. Department of Education expanded the ESSER fund reporting requirements for this most recent report, including questions ranging from expenditures to planned use of funds to ESSER-funded program participation by student groups. This report will cover the period from March 13, 2020, through September 30, 2021. The first annual report was completed via the electronic web-enabled grants system in February 2021. The second report is now available for completion via the system. LEAs must complete the report by March 14.

New Jersey has received over $4.3 billion in ESSER funds to address the academic, social, emotional and mental health impacts of COVID-19. Against this backdrop, the ESSER performance report serves a crucial purpose of compiling high-quality data on LEAs’ priorities in expending ESSER funds to meet local needs. As one of the only national, standardized collections of detailed local ESSER expenditure information, it will inform policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders for years to come in better understanding the impact of this historic investment.

To accurately report the information requested through the ESSER performance report, the NJDOE recommends each district convene a team of professionals overseen by the chief school administrator, including but not limited to the business administrator, Title I or grants coordinator, director of academics and director of student services.

To assist districts in accurately completing this report, the NJDOE is offering technical assistance sessions Feb. 25 and March 2. Visit the NJDOE’s Events Registration webpage to register for either session.

If you have any questions about the collection or submission of data for the ESSER performance report, write to ESSER.Report@doe.nj.gov.