ESSER Funds for Teacher Professional Development

Learn about ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) guidelines (including professional development) for teachers & educators.

ESSER Funding Guidelines, FAQs, and Other Resources  |  How Model Teaching PD Courses Can Help

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Home » ESSER Funding & Professional Development
  • ESSER, ESSER II, ESSER III Funding to Support Elementary & Secondary Schools

In an effort to support Elementary & Secondary schools addressing the impact of COVID-19, Congress has recently passed a series of funding initiatives to provide financial support to schools and districts in need. These funds are cumulatively known as ESSER funds.

  • Summary of Grant Programs & Funding Timeline

  • ESSER I Program (Spring 2020) – The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act was passed in Spring of 2020 to include funds over $13 billion to support the ESSER fund.

  • ESSER II Program (Winter 2020) – The Coronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act is passed, providing over $54 billion in supplemental funding to ESSER (ESSER II).

  • ESSER III Program (Spring 2021) – The American Rescue Plan (ARP) is enacted. This includes the American Rescue Plan Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) program additionally fund ESSER $126 billion (ESSER III).

  • How Can ESSER Funds Be Used?

Districts may use ESSER funds on any “activity authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.”  This includes any activity involving Assessments, Instructional Materials, Mental Health Support, Software & Technology, Teacher Pay, Professional Development, & The Identification of and Programs to Address Lost Learning.









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  • How To Access ESSER Funds

States have been allocated ESSER funds in proportion to their Title I grant funding. The US Department of Education has distributed funding directly to State Education Agencies (SEAs) for disbursement. To receive funding, school districts must apply to their relevant SEA. For relevant information relating to ESSER funding for your district or school, please monitor your relevant SEA.

Where Can I Learn More About ESSER Funding For My State?

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) provides an up-to-date and comprehensive listing of ESSER funding by state, including guidance on plans for use.  Please visit this page to learn more about your specific state.

Visit the NCSL ESSER Funding By State page >>

Frequently Asked Questions about the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund)

Please see below for a listing of several key FAQ’s from the FAQ document available for download here.

*Reference: Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions about the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund).  U.S. Department of Education.

“Only SEAs in the 50 States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia apply directly to the Department for ESSER Funds. An SEA is the agency primarily responsible for the State supervision of public elementary schools and secondary schools.”
“School districts (LEAs) must apply to the relevant SEA. Every SEA must use at least 90 percent of its ESSER Fund grant to make subgrants to LEAs by formula based on FY 2019 Title I, Part A allocations.”

“A charter school that is an LEA, as defined in section 8101(30) of the ESEA, may receive an ESSER formula subgrant like any other LEA. A new or significantly expanded charter school LEA in the 2020-2021 school year is eligible to receive an ESSER formula subgrant in accordance with ESEA section 4306 and 34 CFR §76.792. A charter school that is not an LEA may not receive a formula subgrant, but it may receive support under ESSER through the LEA of which it is a part.”

“Yes. An LEA must file a local application with the SEA in order to receive an ESSER formula subgrant.”

“The ESSER Fund provides LEAs considerable flexibility in determining how best to use ESSER funds. For example, LEAs may use ESSER funds for personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and sanitizing materials, and similar supplies necessary to maintain school operations during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Since learning can and should continue, the Department encourages LEAs to target ESSER funding on activities that will support remote learning for all students, especially disadvantaged or at-risk students, and their teachers.”

  • Helpful ESSER Funding Resources for Educators

National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)

Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Fund Tracker.  This tool provides a listing of state ESSER funding allocation and a summary of current plans and initiatives for the use of funds by state DOEs.

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ESSER II State Comparison – Raise Your Hand Texas

This site provides a listing of states’ ESSER II allocations, including direct links to each state DOE’s guidance information.

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12 Uses for ESSER Funds – District Administration

This article provides a comprehensive listing of educational activities authorized for ESSER funding use.

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