As part of ongoing efforts to support local educational agencies in expending all Federal American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding in early 2024, the New Jersey Department of Education recently issued an advisory highlighting available resources, including January’s “Review. Amend. Spend.” events.

In addition to the resources below, a forthcoming NJDOE memorandum will announce the United States Department of Education’s approval of amendments to New Jersey’s ARP ESSER State Plan. These amendments expand allowable uses originally listed in the 2021 ARP ESSER State Plan.

The NJDOE anticipates that with the expansion of allowable uses for the ARP ESSER subgrants, and the evolving needs of students and communities, LEAs should consider amendments to ARP ESSER spending plans. Amendments to the ARP ESSER State Plan will be explained in all training sessions listed below and are explained on the Review Amend Spend Webpage.

Background: What Is ARP ESSER?

The ARP ESSER Fund, also referred to as ESSER III, is the last of the federal relief funds meant to assist with COVID-19 recovery. The goal of ARP ESSER is to support LEAs in preparing for and responding to the impact of COVID19 on educators, students, and families. The Federal Funding Education Dashboard shows the amount of funding that must be expended in the first half of 2024.

Resources to Support LEAs Spending of ESSER Funds

Since LEAs submitted their first ARP ESSER plan in 2021, student and LEA needs may have changed. Therefore, the NJDOE has created resources for LEAs and school staff who are involved in the reporting, filing and spending of ESSER funding. See below for currently available resources:

  • ARP ESSER Quick Reference Guide: This resource is most useful to LEA staff new to ESSER funding and can be used to guide LEAs on the ways to spend funds that will best support students.
  • Review Amend Spend Webpage: The website is a step-by-step guide to assist LEAs in the expenditure of ARP ESSER dollars.
  • ARP ESSER “Spend” Training Module and Office Hours: Join this training session on 18, 2024 for information on how ARP ESSER funds can be combined with other sustainable federal funding streams. More information can be found online: NJDOE Maximizing Federal Funds website.
  • ARP ESSER Round Table Series: Coming up next on Jan. 24, 2024, “Making the Most of Your ARP ESSER Dollars: Supporting Learning Acceleration.”

For general ESSER information and resources, please see the ESSER webpage, and for questions please contact the NJDOE via email.