Overview of COVID-19 Related Funds for Local Education Agencies (LEAs)
Similar to municipalities, school districts and other Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in Massachusetts have received various federal funds to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of these funds are distributed via the Commonwealth’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to support both distance learning and school reopening costs.
Further information about each funding source, as well as links to additional resources about these programs, can be found in this section.
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) Information and Dashboard
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER): The ESSER I Fund, authorized under section 18003 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), provides districts with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools. Districts must provide equitable services to students and teachers in non-public schools as required under the CARES Act.
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act provides supplemental funding through the ESSER II Fund. This funding is intended to help school districts safely reopen schools, and measure and effectively address significant learning loss. In addition, in an effort to build capacity of public school districts and communities to facilitate integrated coordination of school and community-based resources, DESE is providing an additional $10,000 to each district for student mental health services and supports.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides a third round of funding for ESSER (ESSER III). ESSER III requires that LEAs spend 20 percent of funding to address learning loss and includes new maintenance of equity provisions.
The dashboard below displays information on ESSER I, II, and III, including funding allocations and spending. The data is broken down by county and can be further broken down to the LEA level.
Other COVID-19 related funding to LEAs
Remote Learning Technology Essentials Grants (RLTE): The purpose of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CvRF) Remote Learning Technology Essentials Program is to provide supplemental funds to support LEAs in addressing remaining remote learning technology needs and to ensure that every student has adequate access to technology for use in remote learning environments during the 2020-21 school year. Funds under this competitive program, in addition to those made available under other federal grant programs, may be used to support technology needs addressed following the March 13, 2020 COVID-19 emergency.
School Reopening Grants (SRG): The purpose of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CvRF) School Reopening Grants is to provide eligible school districts and charter schools with funding to support costs to reopen schools. This funding of $225 per student based on FY2021 foundation enrollment is intended to supplement other resources that the Governor is providing to cities and towns for COVID-19 response efforts as well as funds made available by DESE through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) grants and the Remote Learning Technology Essentials (RLTE) grants.
The tool below provides a breakdown of all COVID-19 related funding sources to LEAs:
State House, Room 373
Boston, MA 02133