Maximize Security with the Interchangeable Use of ESSER Funds

In April 2021, the Federal Government approved the 2020-2023 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Grant. With $11.2 billion made available to the state, Texas school districts now have the ability to reopen schools safely, sustain secure operations, and address the impact of the pandemic on students. 

As of June 3rd, the U.S. The Department of Education announced that school districts are able to further prepare for the return to in-person learning by using their remaining funds from ESSER I and ESSER II for the same list of allowable uses as ESSER III. 

This recent update means that school districts can use any remaining funds they have from their ESSER I and II Grants towards the allowable activities outlined in the ARP ESSER III Grant. This gives school districts greater flexibility and options when using their grant funds. 

While previous ESSER grants focused on overcoming the pandemic, the ARP ESSER III Grant focuses on helping schools reopen safely. A more in-depth look into the differences between the ESSER Grants can be found here.  

Additionally, each ESSER grant has its own unique timeline for execution. This means that the period of duration for when grant funds must be expended differs for each ESSER grant. 

While districts can use their remaining ESSER funds towards the same list of allowable activities listed in ESSER III, they must spend these funds within the period of duration provided for each grant. A side by side comparison of each grant’s timeline can be found here. 

Image Courtesy of TEA.

The ESSER III Grant does require that 20% of funds be used to address learning loss, but the remaining 80% of funds can be applied to school safety enhancements. These can include new security systems, security technology upgrades and/or specialized security applications like gunshot detection, video analytics, license plate recognition, temperature screening, etc.

Specific details on how school districts can use their ESSER III grant funds can be found here.

The question that remains for numerous districts, however, is how much money they have leftover to apply to the ARP ESSER III Grant. To find out how much remaining grant money (from ESSER I and II) your school district has, click here. These quantities are updated monthly by the TEA.

If you’re unsure on how to best allocate your school district’s funds, you’re not alone. Our team is here to aid you in meeting the ESSER III Grant Application deadline of Tuesday, July 27th. We can help you develop a budgetary cost and implementation plan at no charge and with no commitment to work with us in the future. Click here to schedule a short, 15-minute meeting or call us at 877-374-9894.