In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law. This was created in order to combat the negative effects of the coronavirus on schools across the country. The act established the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) that allocated $30.75 billion to the U.S. Department of Education. This money was then distributed throughout the United States to an array of different school districts. Then, in December 2020, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA Act) added $81.9 billion to the ESF.
The ESF is composed of three primary emergency relief funds:
- Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund
- Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund
- Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund
Click here to visit the government website to learn more about this funding. See how these funds have been distributed and what percent has already been spent.
Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund
Of the CRRSA ESF Fund, approximately $3 billion has been given to the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. This money is then distributed to states that have an approved GEER application under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted on March 27, 2020.
The fund’s focus: “Governors may provide subgrants to LEAs and IHEs within their jurisdiction that have been “most significantly impacted by coronavirus” to support their ability to continue providing educational services to their students and to support the “on-going functionality” of these entities. In addition, a Governor may use these funds to provide support through a subgrant or a contract to other LEAs, IHEs, and education-related entities that the Governor “deems essential” for carrying out emergency educational services, providing child care and early childhood education, providing social and emotional support, and protecting education related jobs.”
Click here to see the current GEER / GEER II allocation by state.
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund
Congress appointed $13.2 billion of the ESF Fund to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) fund. This fund can be used to address learning loss, prepare schools for reopening, and testing, repairing, and upgrading projects to improve air quality in school buildings.
Anyone who received ESSER I or II funding must follow all of the standards of the CARES and CRRSA and must report back on how the funds were allocated. To learn more about ESSER I/ESSER II, click here.
Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund
The Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund, authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) was given money during both the CARES and CRRSA allocations. This focuses on giving higher level education schools the funding to improve student experience, assist in diversity, and maintain institutions for the betterment of students and staff.
This was created and maintained in order to combat the difficulties that students, educators, institutions, and parents may have faced as a result of the coronavirus. Within this grant, there are a variety of different programs receiving money, which can be viewed here.
We will keep this page updated as these changes or additions are made in the future.