Spending ESSER Funds for School Equipment, Including Whiteboards
By Dan Griffin Posted September 27, 2023
Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund (ESSER) is a federal program run by the Department of Education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides emergency financial assistance to public schools throughout the United States. Dry erase products, such as whiteboards and resurfacing material, may qualify in your state.
ESSER Funds may be used by K-12 institutions to address pandemic learning loss and to invest in infrastructure and programs to open and operate safely. (See information about the EANS program for non-public schools.)
Currently, the government has signed three ESSER packages into law, totaling $189.5 billion:
- ESSER I was approved in March 2020 for $13.5 billion
- ESSER II was approved in December of 2020 for $54.3 billion
- ESSER III was approved March 2021 for $123 billion
When Do ESSER Funds Expire?
There is a limited time for school districts to spend ESSER funds. Each round of money has a specific deadline for use.
- ESSER I funds were available for use until September 30, 2022 (Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin and the district of Columbia were granted an extension deadline of March 30, 2024.)
- ESSER II funds should be used by September 30, 2023
- ESSER III funds are available for use until September 30, 2024
*The government requires that ESSER Funds be liquidated within 120 days after the end of the availability period.
How Must ESSER Funds Be Spent?
The government does not provide hard-fast rules on what products or services are covered by ESSER funding. In general, funds can be used to help schools bounce back from COVID-19 learning loss, as well as cover costs schools have or will incur because of the pandemic. Such areas include:
- Adaptations to existing furniture like protective barriers, as well as additional desks, tables, chairs and other furniture to allow for proper distancing.
- Additional handwashing stations, cleaning supplies and equipment and other hygiene-related products.
- More staff for increased cleaning, support and for catching up on learning loss from the pandemic.
- More equipment and supplies, like headphones, that are used by one student instead of shared classroom resources.
- Mobile options for classrooms furniture so desks and chairs can be distanced.
- Outdoor furniture so students can learn in an environment that has a lower spread of germs.
To help facilitate funding approval, provide documentation and data that shows how the equipment and services aid in your school’s rebound from COVID-related learning loss as well as the protection of students and staff.
The following EVERWhite and Everase dry erase products may qualify for the funds. Check with your state’s guidelines.
Which Schools Are Eligible?
Regardless of a school’s Title I status, every school within a district is eligible for ESSER funding. Charter Schools that belong to LEAs are eligible as well. The program provides financial assistance to eligible non-public schools across the United States.
How to Apply for ESSER Funding.
Check with your state’s Educational Agency (SEA). An SEA is primarily responsible for the state’s supervision of public elementary schools and secondary schools.
SEAs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia apply directly for ESSER funds through the Department of Education, which is responsible for allocating funds to relevant school districts.
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Our team is happy to assist you with your questions about ESSER funding. Give us a call today at 800-335-7319, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org