ESSER Funds

What Is ESSER?

The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund is a federal formula grant managed by the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE). Non-recurring, emergency aid subgrants are being allocated by the AOE to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) by formula based on Title I, Part A allocations. The Harwood Unified Union School District is one of those LEAs. Funds are broken down into three parts: ESSER I, ESSER II, and ESSER III. These grants are considered one-time funds.

What Is Title 1, Part A?

Title I, Part A is a Consolidated Federal Program with the purpose of providing all children a significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps. HUUSD receives Title I funding each year.

What Are the Different ESSER Types?

  • ESSER I, also known as Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) ESSER funds. HUUSD Allocation: $329,114
  • ESSER II, an expansion of CARES ESSER funds and with the addition of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRPSA) funds. HUUSD Allocation: $1,382,740
  • ESSER III, also known as the American Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER funds. HUUSD allocation: $3,110,032

This U.S. Department of Education Fact Sheet further describes ESSER funds and the difference between each type.

What Is the Status of ESSER I and ESSER II Funds?

In the spring of 2021, HUUSD Administrators, with input from stakeholders, drafted the HUUSD Recovery Plan through careful consideration of the:

What Has Been Purchased with ESSER I and II Money So Far?

ESSER I

  • Funded virtual schooling through the pandemic
  • Additional nurse staffing
  • Additional library media staffing
  • Bus monitors
  • HVAC system improvements
  • Electronic devices for students and staff

ESSER II

  • Stipend for Recovery Plan Coordinators (2)
  • Additional professional staff including interventionists, school counselors, social workers, mental health providers
  • Administration of Comprehensive School Climate Inventory 
  • SWIS implementation across all schools (behavior tracking program)

What’s Next with ESSER III?

HUUSD is in the planning phase for ESSER III. Federal regulations require HUUSD to invite public comment and input into the decision making process for using ESSER III funds. The US Department of Education requires Local Education Agencies to complete meaningful consultation and provide evidence public input was incorporated into the plan. Next, the plan must be approved at the state level and then shared with the public. More information will be available in the coming weeks.