American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Guidance Documents and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Use of Funds

Released on May 26, 2021, this Use of Funds FAQ document is intended to answer Frequently Asked Questions about how funding under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, including the American Rescue Plan ESSER (ARP ESSER) program, and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund may be used in response to the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on students in pre-K–12 education.

Additional HVAC Use of Funds slides, shared during the June 17, 2021, office hour, are available here.

FAQs related to use of funds for COVID-19 Vaccinations and Testing can be found here.

Additional FAQs related to using American Rescue Plan and other pandemic relief funds to provide incentives to students to get the COVID-19 vaccination can be found here.

Maintenance of Effort 

Released on April 21, 2021, this maintenance of effort (MOE) guidance document provides information on the MOE requirements under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund.  The document includes a chart that outlines the similarities and differences in MOE requirements in the CARES Act, CRRSA Act, and ARP Act; FAQs about the MOE requirements and waiver request process; MOE worksheet; MOE data submission form; and an MOE waiver request form.   Released on May 5, 2021, the MOE Appendix B Template is available for State internal use. 

Maintenance of Equity 

Section 2004 of the ARP Act includes new maintenance of equity (MOEquity) provisions that are a condition for SEAs and LEAs to receive funds under ARP ESSER.  On June 9, 2021, the Department released MOEquity guidance for SEAs and LEAs as they implement these new requirements.  In addition, Appendix A includes information on baseline and initial MOEquity data that each SEA must submit by July 30, 2021 for FY 2022. On August 6, 2021, the Department released updated MOEquity guidance , which includes updated questions, new questions, and a new Appendix B.

State MOEquity submissions can be found here. Slides from the August 12, 2021, Maintenance of Equity Office Hour are available here.

Preventing and Responding to Crime and Promoting Public Safety

Released on June 17, this guidance on How American Rescue Plan Funds Can Prevent and Respond to Crime and Promote Public Safety describes how ARP ESSER and other ESSER and GEER funds may be used to prevent and respond to violence and to increase public safety this summer and beyond.

Supporting Full-Service Community Schools and Related Strategies

Full-service community schools collaborate with families, students, educators, and community-based organizations to leverage community resources to address student and families’ unmet needs. A community school strategy supports student success by reducing the barriers to learning students face.  The attached “Frequently Asked Questions” guide was designed to support state and local efforts to use ARP ESSER funds and other ESSER funds to advance or start an evidence-based community school strategy.

This resource identifies elements of effective community schools, reviews the evidence that the community schools strategy supports improved student outcomes, offers specific potential uses of ARP funds to support elements of the community school strategy, and points to examples of  state-level policies.

Strategies for Using American Rescue Plan Funding to Address the Impact of Lost Instructional Time

Released on August 31, 2021, this guidance on Strategies for Using American Rescue Plan Funding to Address the Impact of Lost Instructional Time shares how ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds provide an opportunity to make investments that respond to the urgent needs of students in ways that address gaps in educational opportunity and build local capacity to sustain meaningful and effective teaching and learning.

Supporting School Districts in Timely Investment of American Rescue Plan Act Funds

Released on September 2, 2021, the following factsheet provides clarity on how LEAs can utilize American Rescue Plan funds to support the safe reopening of school for in-person instruction.

ARP ESSER Implementation Technical Assistance

On September 2, 2021, the Department hosted a webinar: Using COVID-Relief Funds for Facility Upgrades, Renovations, and Construction.  In addition to Departmental guidance on uses of funds for construction, renovations and upgrades, the webinar included speakers and resources related to indoor air quality from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Maine Department of Education and Salt Lake City School District.

ARP ESSER State Plan Application Technical Assistance

Note: Viewers can click on the CC button to see (or not see) the Webinar Recording closed captioning

Last Modified: 09/23/2021