The Federal American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, also referred to as ESSER III, provided opportunities for local educational agencies to spend funds on pressing needs. ARP ESSER funds must be obligated by Sept. 30, 2024, and spent by Oct. 13, 2024.

However, since LEAs submitted their first ARP ESSER plan in 2021, student and LEA needs may have changed, which is why the New Jersey Department of Education recently shared resources for LEAs and school staff who are involved in the reporting, filing and spending of ESSER funding in a recent advisory.

In the coming months, as part of NJDOE’s ongoing efforts to help LEAs spend ARP ESSER funds, the NJDOE will highlight key resources connected to the three steps of: “Review. Amend. Spend.” Resources that are already available include:

  • 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. This two-page reference guide includes a brief background, timelines, useful links and a list of requirements and allowable ways to spend these funds.
  • The Review. Amend. Spend. Webpage: The website is a step-by-step guide to assist LEAs in the expenditure of ARP ESSER dollars to best support students.
  • ARP ESSER Round Table Series: The next in the series is Nov. 29, 2023, “Making the Most of Your ARP ESSER Dollars: Mental Health Supports.”
  • ARP ESSER “Review” Training Module and Office Hours: LEAs completed an ARP ESSER plan in 2021. LEA staff may now revisit the plan to determine if it prioritizes current needs. To find the answer, LEAs can access local and state data sources to identify key areas of improvement. The NJDOE Office of Fiscal and Data Services will be hosting two “Review” training sessions with office hours following immediately after: Dec. 14, 2023, and Jan. 4, 2024.
  • ARP ESSER “Amend” Training Module and Office Hours: Revisit the ARP ESSER plan created in 2021. Review key local and state data sources and reprioritize students’ needs. The NJDOE Office of Grants Management will be hosting three “Amend” training sessions with office hours following immediately after: Dec. 4, 2023, Dec. 13, 2023, and Jan. 9, 2024. This training is an opportunity for LEAs to receive real-time assistance with the ARP-ESSER III amendment process.
  • ARP ESSER “Spend” Training Module and Office Hours: Join this training session on Dec. 11, 2023, for information on how emergency federal funds may be used to best support students and how LEAs can combine ARP ESSER with sustainable federal funding streams. More information can be found at the NJDOE Maximizing Federal Funds website.

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