The COVID-19 pandemic had a variety of impacts on the world, one of these being in the education space. With school closures, canceled events and a full shift to virtual learning, many education companies were negatively impacted during this time. These hard times led to the creation of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to assist companies in maintaining and growing their businesses during and after the pandemic.
What are ESSER Funds?
In 2020 and 2021, three bills were passed by Congress that provided $190.5 billion to the United States education system and the companies that support them.
ESSER funds were created to support K-12 education during the COVID-19 pandemic. ESSER I and ESSER II were created with leniency to support a variety of different programs related to child education and care.
ESSER I, II and III funds are eligible for any company that is, “necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in local educational agencies and continuing to employ an existing staff of the local educational agency.”
What are ESSER III Funds?
ESSER III was established through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to continue assisting local education agencies (LEAs) in their COVID-19 recovery efforts in order to ensure there is not a negative impact on childhood education and support following the COVID-19 pandemic.
This fund was allocated across the United States and allows for businesses to apply for the ESSER III fund to receive additional financial support in maintaining their company. Each company that is successful in submitting its application and receiving funding is also given guidance and supported research around different strategies that will assist them in their efforts moving forward. The goal of the ESSER III funds, much like the ESSER I & II funds, is to ensure that students, staff, and education companies do not feel the full negative impacts of the pandemic. With this funding, the hope is that children are able to continue receiving quality education and assistance essential to their future success. According to the Arizona Department of Education, ESSER III has allocated $2,372,250,366.22 to LEAs across the country.
ESSER III Allowable Uses:
ESSER III funds are similar to the ESSER I & II funds, in that they are focused on supporting education-based businesses following the pandemic. However, ESSER III has stricter requirements for which LEAs are eligible to receive funding. These new requirements are:
A new 20% is required set aside to address disrupted learning using evidence-based academic, social, and emotional learning strategies for vulnerable populations of students.
ESSER III LEA plan requirements include engaging in meaningful consultation with stakeholders in the development of the plan.
Local maintenance of equity requirements.
Once an LEA has received funding, it can be used on the following business-related expenditures:
Materials necessary to maintaining their quality of business
Education tools that will enrich their programs and child experience
Public health-related issues and requirements
ESSER III Funds for Summer Enrichment
ESSER III funds can be used by LEAs to encourage and promote summer learning for children. The summer slump causes children to forget key information they learned throughout the school year. Research shows that the summer slump affects STEM-related curricula more strongly than any other area. This then leads to educators having to repeat coursework at the start of the new school year, rather than starting on new lessons.
By using the ESSER III funding to purchase quality, engaging curricula for kids to use over the summer, LEAs can combat the summer slump and position kids to be successful for the coming school year.
Emergency Enrichment for Non-Public Schools (EANS) is a fund created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Under the EANS program, the Department will award grants by formula to each Governor with an approved Certification and Agreement to provide services or assistance to eligible non-public schools to address the impact that the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had, and continues to have, on non-public school students and teachers in the State” said the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
EANS funds can be used for a variety of different essential services and supplies. This includes:
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Education tools to assist in learning loss during the pandemic
To see a full list of what the EANS funds can be used for, click here.
STEM Sports and ESSER/EANS Funds
STEM Sports® offers turnkey education kits for K-8 students. Each of the curricula offerings uses sports as a way to give children quality STEM education. STEM Sports® supports educators and students through the following areas of focus:
Addresses Learning Loss: Each curriculum integrates and promotes the importance of learning through physical activity and engagement by providing a hands-on, pro-active method to learning and attainment. Research has demonstrated better behavior, test scores, and overall attendance.
Standards-aligned: Each curriculum is standardized to ensure topics are relatable and align with the concept teachers are teaching.
Differentiation: Each curriculum conforms to all learners/learning styles through a methodology that requires both cognitive and hands-on learning. In turn, the numerous students who absorb information best through “auditory” and “kinesthetic” engagement can succeed, too.
Virtual, In-person, and Hybrid Resources: Each curriculum provides tools for educators to effectively teach remotely, with students in the classroom, or a combination of virtual or in-person learning for the convenience of teachers/students with and without internet access.
Building Health Literacy and Habits: Each curriculum recognizes the importance of being both health conscious and habitual by way of lesson plans and assessments to solidify this knowledge and practice.
Academic Enrichment: Each curriculum performs very well in After School programs, Summer Camp programs, and the school day classroom.
By focusing on and interjecting the above, it is possible to empower all students by way of his/her predetermined learning style, with the results of higher test scores, improved attendance, better behavior in class, self-motivation, and preparation for life both inside and outside the classroom. If you are interested in using ESSER or EANS funding to support children learning in the summer of 2022, email Info@STEMSports.com to learn more.