CARES Act, CRRSA Act, and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act

To quickly access key areas of on this page and related information, please click on the links below:

ARP ESSER
ARP ESSER State Projects

 

 

Obligation Timeline

Funds Obligation Timeline
ESSER lSeptember 30, 2022
ESSER llSeptember 30, 2023
ARP ESSERSeptember 30, 2024
ARP IDEASeptember 30, 2023
ARP HCY (Homeless)September 30, 2024
EANS (CRRSA)September 20, 2023
EANS (ARP) To be announced

 

American Rescue Plan Act: IDEA 

Section 2014(a) of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) provided more than $3 billion in supplemental funding for Fiscal Year 2021 for the three IDEA formula grant programs described below:

  • $2,580,000,000 for IDEA Part B Grants to States (Section 611)
  • $200,000,000 for IDEA Part B Preschool Grants (Section 619)
  • $250,000,000 for IDEA Part C Grants for Infants and Families

ARP IDEA Fund and Revenue Codes:

  • 611 School Age: SOF 6703; Revenue 45603
  • 619 Early Childhood: SOF 6704; Revenue 45604

Period of Funds Availability:

Funds are available for obligation by SEAs and LEAs between July 1, 2021, and September 30, 2023, and must be liquidated by January 28, 2024.

Fact Sheet:

Section 2014 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (PDF).

Commissioner’s Memo with the allocations: FIN-22-004.

American Rescue Plan Act: Education for Homeless Children and Youth (ARP HCY Fund

On July 13, 2021, the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) submitted state assurances for the ARP HCY Funds.  More information will be available soon.

ARP Homeless II

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act - Homeless Children and Youth (HCY) Program provides funding for the purposes to help States and local educational agencies (LEAs) identify homeless children and youth, provide wraparound services that address the multiple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on homeless children and youth, and ensure that homeless children and youth are able to attend school and participate fully in school activities.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, students experiencing homelessness are increasingly under-identified, as learning outside of school building settings likely impeded the critical role of educators and staff in schools and LEAs to properly identify students, and these students have remained underserved by schools, LEAs, and States.  The ARP-Homeless II funding to support students experiencing homelessness has tremendous potential to expand the systems in Arkansas to identify and support the needs of homeless children and youth.
These funds will support the work of the designated Homeless Liaison in each LEA, as required by the McKinney-Vento Act, and build capacity in LEAs, which will help to identify greater numbers of students experiencing homelessness and better coordinate services for those students in LEAs receiving funding through this formula.
These funds may be used to address urgent needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness—including academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. The funds may also be used to increase capacity by hiring staff, dedicating resources, and planning partnerships with community-based organizations, among other strategies. 

Eligible Districts

The allocation formula is based equally on the proportional share of an LEA's allocation under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 for the most recent fiscal year, and the LEA's proportional share of the number of homeless children and youth identified by each LEA relative to all LEAs in the State, using the greater of the number of homeless children and youth in either the 2018-19 or 2019-20 school year in each LEA. This formula ensures a balance in the distribution of funds to focus on the needs of the LEAs, considering both the LEA's number of low-income students and the number of homeless children and youth. In addition, allowing the use of either the 2018-19 school year or 2019-20 school year homeless counts takes into consideration the potential for undercounting in the 2019-20 school year due to COVID-19 by allowing LEAs to use the greater of the two numbers.
NOTE: An SEA may not make a subgrant to an LEA under 42 U.S.C.A. §11433 (c)(1) if the amount of such subgrant would be less than $5,000. An LEA that does not meet this minimum allocation requirement may receive a subgrant only as part of a consortium with other LEAs if the total of their combined allocations is at least $5,000. 

Allocations of Funds

Arkansas will post the preliminary allocations on the DESE website at https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/Offices/fiscal-and-administrative-services/school-funding/allocations

Final allocations will be determined after all applications have been reviewed.  All funds are reimbursement only.

The SOF code for ARP-HCY II is 6767.  

Timeline for Funds

ARP-HCY funds expire September 30, 2024.

Uses of Funds

Funding under this program must be used for the purposes of identifying homeless children and youth and providing homeless children and youth with (A) wraparound services in light of the challenges of COVID–19; and (B) assistance needed to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities.
Funding provided under ARP Homeless II must follow the final requirements at https://oese.ed.gov/files/2021/07/EO-12866-OESE-FY-21-NFR-ARP-HCY-with-disclaimer.docx.  
Furthermore, funding under the ARP Homeless II program must adhere to the allowable uses of funds described in Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act). Under section(d) of, 42 U.S.C.A. §11433, LEAs may use subgrant funds for activities that support the purposes of the program, including:  

  1. The provision of tutoring, supplemental instruction, and enriched educational services that are linked to the achievement of the same challenging State academic standards as the State establishes for other children and youths.
  2. The provision of expedited evaluations of the strengths and needs of homeless children and youths, including needs and eligibility for programs and services (such as educational programs for gifted and talented students, children with disabilities, and English learners, services provided under title I of the ESEA, 20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq., or similar State or local programs, programs in career and technical education, and school nutrition programs).
  3. Professional development and other activities for educators and specialized instructional support personnel that are designed to heighten the understanding and sensitivity of such personnel to the needs of homeless children and youths, the rights of such children and youths under this part, and the specific educational needs of runaway and homeless youths.
  4. The provision of referral services to homeless children and youths for medical, dental, mental, and other health services.
  5. The provision of assistance to defray the excess cost of transportation for students under 42 U.S.C.A. § 11432 (g)(4)(A), not otherwise provided through Federal, State, or local funding, where necessary to enable students to attend the school selected under section 11432 (g)(3) of this title.  
  6. The provision of developmentally appropriate early childhood education programs, not otherwise provided through Federal, State, or local funding, for preschool-aged homeless children.
  7. The provision of services and assistance to attract, engage, and retain homeless children and youths, particularly homeless children and youths who are not enrolled in school, in public school programs and services provided to non-homeless children and youths.
  8. The provision for homeless children and youths of before- and after-school, mentoring, and summer programs in which a teacher or other qualified individual provides tutoring, homework assistance, and supervision of educational activities.
  9. If necessary, the payment of fees and other costs associated with tracking, obtaining, and transferring records necessary to enroll homeless children and youths in school, including birth certificates, immunization or other required health records, academic records, guardianship records, and evaluations for special programs or services.
  10. The provision of education and training to the parents and guardians of homeless children and youths about the rights of, and resources available to, such children and youths, and other activities designed to increase the meaningful involvement of parents and guardians of homeless children or youths in the education of such children or youths.
  11. The development of coordination between schools and agencies providing services to homeless children and youths, as described in section 11432 (g)(5). 
  12. The provision of specialized instructional support services (including violence prevention counseling) and referrals for such services.
  13. Activities to address the particular needs of homeless children and youths that may arise from domestic violence and parental mental health or substance abuse problems.
  14. The adaptation of space and purchase of supplies for any non-school facilities made available under subsection(a)(2) of 42 U.S.C.A. § 11433 to provide services under section(d) of 42 U.S.C.A. § 11433.
  15. The provision of school supplies, including those supplies to be distributed at shelters or temporary housing facilities, or other appropriate locations.
  16. The provision of other extraordinary or emergency assistance needed to enable homeless children and youths to attend school and participate fully in school activities.

Activities under Homeless II may include any expenses necessary to facilitate the identification, enrollment, retention, or educational success of homeless children and youth in order to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities, such as: 

  • providing wraparound services (which could be provided in collaboration with and/or through contracts with community-based organizations, and could include academic supports, trauma-informed care, social-emotional support, and mental health services);
  • purchasing needed supplies (e.g., personal protective equipment, eyeglasses, school supplies, personal care items);
  • providing transportation to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities;
  • purchasing cell phones or other technological devices for unaccompanied, homeless children and youth to enable such children and youth to attend school and fully participate in school activities;
  • providing access to reliable, high-speed internet for students through the purchase of internet-connected devices/equipment, mobile hotspots, wireless service plans, or installation of Community Wi-Fi Hotspots (e.g., at homeless shelters), especially in underserved communities;
  • paying for short-term, temporary housing (e.g., a few days in a motel) when such emergency housing is the only reasonable option for COVID-safe temporary housing and when necessary to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities (including summer school); and
  • providing store cards/prepaid debit cards to purchase materials necessary for students to participate fully in school activities. 

LEAs must ensure that all costs are reasonable and necessary and that these uses of funds align with the purpose of, and other requirements in, the McKinney-Vento Act. In addition, when considering funding decisions, we want to emphasize that section (d)(16) of 42 U.S.C.A. § 11433 allows the use of funds for “other extraordinary or emergency assistance needed to enable homeless children and youths to attend school and participate fully in school activities.” Accordingly, when considering funding decisions, LEAs should analyze the needs of students experiencing homelessness in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its extraordinary impact. 

Additional Resources

For additional resources that address the needs of students experiencing homelessness, please see the Department’s COVID-19 Handbook Volume 1: Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools  and Volume 2: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs.

Timeline

  • LEAs participating in a consortium must submit a participate in a consortium form by December 1, 2021 to Jessica.Hickman@ade.arkansas.gov
  • LEAs will submit their completed application or consortium application by January 11, 2022, by uploading the application and budget into Indistar folder labeled ARP Homeless II.
  • ARP Homeless II funds expire September 30, 2024.

Notice to Participate in Consortium

Any LEA may participate in a consortium to better utilize funds to identify and serve students experiencing homelessness.  An LEA that does not meet the minimum allocation requirement of $5,000 may receive a subgrant only as part of a consortium with other LEAs if the total of their combined allocations is at least $5,000. All LEAs participating in a consortium must submit an intent to participate in a consortium form prior to submission of the consortium application.

Application

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ua1TcVY7C-VOFg0WYDePHglaRaxp4uzOC0R7s0KbrAw/edit?usp=sharing

ARP Homeless I

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act provides emergency relief funds under section 2001(b)(1) of the ARP available to grantees of the Education for Homeless Children and Youths program (EHCY, also known as McKinney-Vento) for the purposes of identifying homeless children and youth, providing wraparound services in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and providing assistance needed to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities, including in-person instruction, before/after school, summer learning, and enrichment programs.

This disbursement (ARP Homeless I) is designed to provide funding to States immediately as a supplement to their McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) funds, so that States can address urgent needs of homeless children and youth—including academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs—and so States and local educational agencies (LEAs) can increase capacity by hiring staff, dedicating resources, and planning partnerships with community-based organizations, among other strategies. For the definition of homelessness under the Education of Homeless Children and Youth program, see https://nche.ed.gov/determining-eligibility/.

Grants

The Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will make $1,539,246 ARP Homeless I funds available to current EHCY grantees.

Timeline for Funds

ARP Homeless I funds must be obligated by September 30, 2024.

Uses of Funds

ARP Homeless I funds supplement the EHCY program, and all allowable EHCY uses apply to these funds. For more information, LEAs should reference the list of authorized activities in section (d) of the EHCY statute, 42 U.S.C. §11433 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nF5wq4xI40EG_IyeqhJmKe1dgd3Zcp_u06qOBpYA1KQ/edit?usp=sharing.

  • providing wraparound services (which could be provided in collaboration with and/or through contracts with community-based organizations, and could include academic supports, trauma- informed care, social-emotional support, and mental health services);
  • purchasing needed supplies (e.g., PPE, eyeglasses, school supplies, personal care items);
  • providing transportation to enable children and youth to attend classes and participate fully in school activities;
  • purchasing cell phones or other technological devices for unaccompanied youth to enable the youth to attend and fully participate in school activities;
  • providing access to reliable, high-speed internet for students through the purchase of internet-connected devices/equipment, mobile hotspots, wireless service plans, or installation of Community Wi-Fi Hotspots (e.g., at homeless shelters), especially in underserved communities;
  • paying for short-term, temporary housing (e.g., a few days in a motel) when such emergency housing is the only reasonable option for COVID-safe temporary housing and when necessary to enable the homeless child or youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities (including summer school); and
  • providing store cards/prepaid debit cards to purchase materials necessary for students to participate in school activities.

LEAs must ensure that all costs are reasonable and necessary and that these uses of funds align with the purpose of, and other requirements in, the EHCY statute. In addition, when considering funding decisions, the DESE wants to emphasize that section (d)(16) of the EHCY statute allows the use of funds for “other extraordinary or emergency assistance needed to enable homeless children and youths to attend school and participate fully in school activities.” Accordingly, when considering funding decisions, LEAs should analyze the needs of students experiencing homelessness in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its extraordinary impact.

Application 

Current EHCY grantees may apply for ARP Homeless I funds to supplement current EHCY competitive grant funds and ESSER funds to supplement the EHCY program, and the uses of funds are governed by EHCY allowability. Uses of funds may include, when responding to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, expenses that are reasonable and necessary to facilitate the identification, enrollment, retention, and educational success of homeless children and youth.

The LEA must comply with, all reporting requirements at such time and in such manner and containing such information as the Secretary may reasonably require, including but not limited to the requirements under EHCY, and including but not limited to numbers of students experiencing homelessness identified and supported through ARP-Homeless I funding, and specific details about supports and services received by students.

LEAs are encouraged to use these funds to focus on identifying students and to connect students experiencing homelessness and their families to summer learning and enrichment programs, and to engage students and their families in preparation for on-site instruction during the school year. LEAs are encouraged to consider granting subawards to community-based organizations to supplement existing EHCY subgrants and allow LEAs to address the needs of students experiencing homelessness

The current 22 EHCY grantees may apply for ARP Homeless I funds by completing the Addendum authorized under American Rescue Plan (ARP) - Homeless I (attachment 1) by October 6, 2021, and uploading to McKinney-Vento Indistar into the (MVAR) district folder labeled ARP Homeless I. Please see Commissioner’s Memo COM-22-052 for more information about ARP Homeless I eligibility.

Questions regarding current EHCY grantees and this funding opportunity should be sent to Jessica.Hickman@ade.arkansas.gov or call 501-683-5428.


American Rescue Plan Act: Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER Fund)

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act into law. The ARP law is available at https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/hr1319/BILLS-117hr1319enr.pdf. The 1.9 trillion package of assistance measures, includes $122 billion for the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. Funds are provided to State Educational agencies and school districts to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation's students. More information about the ARP ESSER funds is available at https://oese.ed.gov/american-rescue-plan-elementary-and-secondary-school-emergency-relief/?key=604bc93d9d597.

The U.S. Department of Education also released two informational documents:

Volume 1 - 2021 ED COVID-19 Handbook Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools available at https://www2.ed.gov/documents/coronavirus/reopening.pdf.

Volume 2 - 2021 ED COVID-19 Handbook Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs available at https://www2.ed.gov/documents/coronavirus/reopening-2.pdf.

On Wednesday, September 1, 2021, US ED published guidance on lost instructional time during the pandemic:  Strategies for Using American Rescue Plan Funding to Address the Impact of Lost Instructional Time available at  https://www2.ed.gov/documents/coronavirus/lost-instructional-time.pdf

State Plan for ARP Funding

Arkansas utilized stakeholder feedback and available data to develop and submit the state plan for ARP funding. The plan was submitted on June 7, 2021, and approved by the U.S. Department of Education on July 7, 2021. The approval letter is available here. Access the Arkansas ARP State Plan. This plan will be revised as needed.  Stakeholders may continue to provide input regarding the state ARP plan by completing the Stakeholder Survey. (Stakeholder Survey in Spanish - Encuesta Para las Partes Interesadas)

Arkansas is required to post information about school mode of instruction (see instructional option tab), disaggregated enrollment (enrollment tab) and attendance data (attendance rates tab).  These data are available on LEA Insights at https://insight.ade.arkansas.gov/?lea=AR

ARP ESSER Fund

ARP ESSER funds are provided to state educational agencies and school districts to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation's students.

Budgeting and Reporting of ARP ESSER Funds

LEAs will utilize eFinance to budget and report financial expenditures. LEAs will be responsible for supporting evidence and documentation of expenditures for reporting and audit purposes.

Upon request by DESE, the LEA will also upload the expenditure ledger for ESSER funds into Indistar.

DESE is required to monitor LEA expenditures of ESSER funds.

Focus of ARP ESSER Funds

The focus is to help schools return safely to in-person instruction, maximize in-person instruction time, sustain the safe operations of schools, and address the academic, social, emotional, and mental health impact of COVID-19.

DESE has established three areas of planning for use of funds:

  1. Creating Safe and Healthy Learning Environments
  2. Addressing Lost Instructional Time or Loss of Learning
  3. Supporting Educator and Staff Stability and Well-Being

PLEASE NOTE: The LEA must spend a minimum of 20% of ARP ESSER funds to address lost instructional time or loss of learning. The LEA will use the funds it reserves under Section 2001 (e) (1) of the ARP Act to address the academic impact of lost instructional time through implementation of evidence-based interventions. The full implementation of evidence-based interventions include personnel, materials, equipment, professional development, and expensed needed to meet the needs of students. Other evidence-based practices may be utilized if the intervention meets one of the four tiers of evidence. Evidence-based practices resources can be found on page 7 of Empowering School for Success: Using Effective Evidence-Based Practices to Impact Student Outcomes.

Who is eligible to apply for ARP ESSER Funds?

LEAs (districts and charter schools) that receive Title I funds. 

What are the ARP ESSER funding allocations for LEAs?

Allocations for ARP ESSER funds are posted on the DESE website at https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/Offices/fiscal-and-administrative-services/school-funding/allocations

What is the timeline for ARP ESSER funds?

LEAs must obligate ARP ESSER funds by September 30, 2024.

What are allowable expenditures of ARP ESSER funds?

A local educational agency (LEA) may use funds it receives under section 2001(d) of the ARP for any activity listed in section 2001(e). Any activity that is an allowable use of Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER I) funds by an LEA under section 18003(d) of the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security (CARES) Act, funds by an LEA under section 313(d) of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act (ESSER II) is also an allowable use of ARP ESSER funds by an LEA under section 2001(d) of the ARP ESSER.  Please see Commissioner’s Memo COM-21-106 for guidance on the use of ESSER funds.  The memo also provides the program codes.  Due to the end of the fiscal year, districts should utilize ESSER I and ESSER II funds through June 2021 and can begin obligating and expending ARP ESSER funds after July 1, 2021, if Arkansas Legislative Council approval for appropriations is finalized.  Preliminary allocations are posted in Commissioner’s Memo FIN-21-035.  Information regarding summer reimbursements is available in Commissioner’s Memo FIN-21-045.

What are the funding codes for ARP ESSER funds?

To access the codes, go to program codes.

What are the retention requirements for ESSER II funds records?

Financial records, supporting (primary) documents, and all documentation of reasonable, necessary, and allocable must be retained for four (4) years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. 2 CFR § 200.333.

ARP ESSER Application

The American Rescue Plan Act requires three parts for a complete application of funds:

Part A: LEA Plan for Continuity of Services, ARP Section 2001 (i)(1) By April 15, 2021, posted on district website; updated every six months with public comments
Part B: LEA Signed Assurances (DOCX) (PDF)By June 24, 2021, posted in ESSER folder in Indistar
Part C: LEA plan for Use of ARP ESSER Funds, ARP Section 2001(e) (DOCX) (PDF)By August 15, 2021, posted in ESSER folder in Indistar and posted on district website

 

Appropriations - ESSER II – approved December 27, 2020

On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021.  The 2124 page Act is available at https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr133/BILLS-116hr133enr.pdf.

Congress set aside an additional $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief ( ESSER II Fund). Additional information about the ESSER II fund is available at https://oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/elementary-secondary-school-emergency-relief-fund/. The Letter from Secretary Devos and attachments (Fact Sheet and Methodology for Calculating Allocations) provide additional information regarding ESSER II funding.

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II Fund)

The CARES Act - Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 is intended to help States and LEAs safely operate schools, measure and effectively address learning needs, and take other actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the students and families who depend on our public schools.

Budgeting and Reporting of ESSER II Funds

LEAs will utilize eFinance to budget and report financial expenditures. LEAs will be responsible for supporting evidence and documentation of expenditures for reporting and audit purposes.

Upon request by DESE, the LEA will also upload the expenditure ledger for ESSER funds into Indistar.

DESE is required to monitor LEA expenditures of ESSER funds.

Focus of ESSER II Funds

DESE has established five focus areas for funding LEAs.  The four focus areas for ESSER I (food security, direct student support/continuous learning opportunities, technology, and systemic procedures) plus a new focus area (facilities) will apply to ESSER II funds.  LEAs may select all that apply:

Who is eligible to apply for ESSER II Funds?

LEAs (districts and charter schools) that receive Title I funds. 

What are the ESSER II funding allocations for LEAs?

Allocations for ESSER II funds are posted on the DESE website at https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/Offices/fiscal-and-administrative-services/school-funding/allocations

What is the timeline for ESSER II funds?

LEAs must obligate ESSER II funds by September 30, 2023.

What are allowable expenditures of ESSER II funds?

Expenditures must be reasonable, necessary and allocable under section 18003(d) of Division B of the CARES Act. Funds should be used to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have on elementary and secondary public schools. Funds should address the district's continuity of learning and operations plan (district support plan). Funds should address all teachers and students, including special populations and students most at-risk. Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 Section 313 (d) outlines fifteen (15) uses of funds. Those uses of funds are included in the CARES ACT ADDENDUM: LEA application and assurances for ESSER II Funds. COVID-19 related expenditures coded that meet these guidelines may be paid from ESSER II funds if expended on and after March 13, 2020.

What are the funding codes for ESSER II funds?

To access the codes, go to ESSER II funding codes.

What are the retention requirements for ESSER II funds records?

Financial records, supporting (primary) documents, and all documentation of reasonable, necessary, and allocable must be retained for four (4) years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. 2 CFR § 200.333

CARES ACT ADDENDUM:  LEA Application and Assurances for ESSER II Funds

Eligible LEAs should complete the CARES ACT ADDENDUM: LEA application and assurances for ESSER II Funds document and upload to the ESSER folder in Indistar by February 1, 2021. The CARES ACT ADDENDUM: LEA Application and Assurances for ESSER II Funds is available in Word or PDF.

CARES Act – approved March 27, 2020

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the CARES Act, which is a $2 trillion package of assistance measures. The 880 page Act is available at https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr748/BILLS-116hr748enr.pdf.

The CARES Act provides States the opportunity to apply for waivers and to request funding.

1. Waivers

The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requested the following waivers. Information regarding waivers and waiver requests will be updated on this webpage.

Federal Funds Waiver for Perkins – approved April 29, 2020

On April 16, 2020, the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) submitted a letter to Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education, requesting an extension of the period of availability of FY2018 Title I of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Act of 2006 which allows subrecipients until September 30, 2021, to expend these funds. The waiver was approved on April 29, 2020 by Scott Stump (approval letter). Submit public comment to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfa1qIcrveGmhY2BP3yFl_mCQE5WMz_qWhm1f2rG8al5OQB_g/viewform.

Federal Funds Waiver – approved April 21, 2020

On April 6, 2020, the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) submitted a letter to Frank Brogan, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, requesting a waiver for federal fund carry-over restrictions, period of availability of funds, Title IV requirements, and the definition of professional development. The waiver was approved on April 21, 2020, by Frank Brogan (approval letter). Submit public comment to ade.essacomments@arkansas.gov.

Understanding the Federal Waivers – posted April 16, 2020

The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) developed a document to explain the impact of the federal waivers. DESE will update the document as more information becomes available. The document is available at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1N0fOukqQiuXGui7kmUUUFHysBJ02LCGL757LHKGwGSQ/edit?usp=sharing.

Assessment, Accountability and Reporting Waiver - approved March 27, 2020

On March 23, 2020, the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) submitted a letter to Frank Brogan, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, requesting a waiver from assessment, accountability and reporting 2020. The waiver was approved on March 27, 2020, by Frank Brogan (approval letter). Submit public comment to ade.essacomments@arkansas.gov.

2. Funding

The CARES Act provides multiple opportunities for funding. As funding opportunities become available for public school districts and nonpublic schools, the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will provide information and updates to this webpage. Additional information about CARES Act funding is available at https://oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/.

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund

Congress set aside approximately $13.2 billion of the $30.75 billion allotted to the Education Stabilization Fund through the CARES Act for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. The U.S. Department of Education (USED) will award these grants to State educational agencies (SEAs) for the purpose of providing local educational agencies (LEAs), including charter schools that are LEAs, with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the nation. Additional information about the ESSER Fund is available at https://oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/elementary-secondary-school-emergency-relief-fund/.

Arkansas Application for ESSER Funds - Approved May 14, 2020

On May 12, 2020, the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) applied for $128,758,638.00 ESSER funds. The submitted application is available here. The application was approved on May 14, 2020 and funds became available on May 14, 2020.

Equitable Services - Revised September 25, 2020

LEAs that receive ESSER funds must provide equitable services to students and teachers in non-public schools located within the LEA. LEAs must engage in timely and meaningful consultation with representatives of non-public schools. Please see Commissioner's Memo COM-21-029.

Highlighted points regarding Equitable Services:

  •  A non-public school is a non-profit elementary or secondary school in operation prior to March 13, 2020.
  •  The LEA is responsible for initiating the consultation process with all non-public schools to which the public LEA has students attending, even if the non-public previously refused services. Funds cannot be sent directly to non-public schools.
  •  Written consultation and equitable services plan for ESSER funds must be uploaded into the ESSER folder in Indistar (see COM-21-029).
  •  Questions or complaints should be sent to the State Ombudsman. Information about the Ombudsman is available at http://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/divisions/public-school-accountability/federal-programs/ombudsman-federal-programs-equitable-services.

Maintenance of Effort

As a condition of receiving ESSER funds, states must maintain support for elementary and secondary education in FY2020 and FY2021 at least at the levels of support that is the average of such state's support for elementary and secondary education in the three fiscal years preceding March 27, 2020. Information about maintenance of effort is posted on the DESE website at http://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/divisions/fiscal-and-administrative-services/lea-federal-funding/maintenance-of-effort.

Continue to Compensate Employees

To the greatest extent practicable, recipients of ESSER funds must continue to pay their employees and contractors during COVID-19 disruptions or closures. More guidance is available at https://www2.ed.gov/documents/coronavirus/factsheet-fiscal-questions.pdf

Technical Assistance

DESE will provide technical assistance to LEAs through Commissioner's Memos, webinars, and upon request. General technical assistance will be posted on this webpage. Please send specific requests to ade.esser@arkansas.gov.

Webinar: ARP Homeless IINovember 9, 2021
Webinar: ARP Homeless I October 4, 2021
Webinar: Updates to ESSER Eligible Uses of Funds Guidance Regarding Roofs, Asbestos, and Loss of RevenueSeptember 9, 2021 
CARES Act – ESSER Funds WebinarMay 18, 2020 Watch Recording 
CARES Act – ESSER II Funds Webinar
January 19, 2021
American Rescue Plan Act - ARP ESSER Webinar
June 1, 2021 Watch Recording


Memo #Memo TitleDate Posted
FIN-20-042CARES Funding Data4/29/2020
COM-20-119CARES Act – ESSER Funds Webinar – May 18, 20205/13/2020
COM-20-120CARES Act - webpage, LEA application, and webinar5/15/2020
FIN-20-0472019-20 Preliminary CARES Allocations5/15/2020
FIN-20-0542019-20 Preliminary CARES Allocations with Equitable Services Set Aside6/16/2020
COM-21-029
CARES Act Equitable Services 
9/25/2020
FIN-21-020
2020-21 Final CARES Allocations with Equitable Services Set Aside 
12/02/2021
COM-21-065
CARES Act – Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA – commonly referred to as ESSER II Funds) Webinar  
1/13/2021
FIN-21-026 
2020-21 Preliminary ESSER II Allocations 
1/19/2021
FIN-21-027  
ESSER I Equitable Services Information 
1/21/2021
COM-21-106
ESSER: Eligible Uses of Funds Guidance Document
3/29/2021
FIN-21-035
2020-2021 Preliminary (ARP) ESSER III Allocations
4/6/2021
COM-21-136
American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ARP ESSER) and Webinar (June 1, 2021)
5/24/2021
COM-21-146ESSER: Eligible Uses of Funds Guidance Document UPDATED6/21/2021
COM-22-041Webinar on September 9, 2021, to discuss Updates to ESSER: Eligible Uses of Funds Guidance Regarding Roofs, Asbestos, and Loss of Revenue9/3/2021
COM-22-046
Update the ARP ESSER LEA Plan for Continuity of Services (Ready for Learning) by October 15, 2021
9/16/2021
COM-22-047Additional Clarification for Questions about ESSER Funds  9/21/2021
COM-22-052 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act – Homeless I Funds Available for Application and Webinar 9/22/2021
COM-22-073 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Homeless II Application and Webinar 11/03/2021
OIT-22-009 ESSER Transparency Dashboard Portal published on Insights Portal 11/09/2021

Reporting

DESE must submit, within 60 days of receiving ESSER funds, a budget for the SEA reserve and an internal control and sub-recipient monitoring plan.

DESE must submit quarterly reports to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) "at such time and containing such information as the USED may reasonably require in the future". Reporting shall include financial reporting and evidence of all expenditures with ESSER funds. Additional reporting may include methodology of equitable services and demonstration or evidence that services were provided by LEAs; use of funds to address the digital divide; and funds used to support remote learning for all students, including disadvantaged populations.

USED may request additional reporting, such as but not limited to a detailed list of all projects and activities supported with ESSER Funds including name, description, estimated number of jobs created or retained, and detailed information on subcontracts and subgrantees.

LEAs will utilize eFinance to report financial expenditures. LEAs will be responsible for supporting evidence and documentation of expenditures for reporting and audit purposes.

At the end of the fiscal year, the LEA will also upload the expenditure ledger for ESSER funds into Indistar.

DESE is required to monitor LEA expenditures of ESSER funds.

Focus of ESSER Funds

DESE has established four focus areas for funding LEAs. LEAs may select all that apply:

  •  FOOD SECURITY: Many districts continued to provide meals to students during this emergency, utilizing different options to best meet the needs of the students, families, and communities. It is expected that districts will continue to monitor the needs in their communities and make decisions about how they continue to operate food service programs to ensure food security. The ESSER funds may address district expenses in foodservice programs due to COVID-19 that have not been covered by other funds or reimbursements, and there may be ongoing costs for districts that continue to operate meal service during the summer and in preparation for the fall that should be considered.
  •  DIRECT STUDENT SUPPORT/CONTINUOUS LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES: Decisions for direct student support and continuous learning opportunities may include supplemental workdays or contracted services that help prepare for the return to on-site instruction or days where students are actively under the supervision/instruction of personnel. Other types of support include screening/formative/diagnostic assessment tools, interventions, preparation and testing for industry-recognized credentials, online learning modules, targeted summer programs, professional development, licenses for learning and simulation software, special population resources for at-risk students, mobile hands-on learning labs, and development of video lessons for skill attainment training. Districts should consider the learning needs of each child and the resources needed to address those needs.
  •  TECHNOLOGY: During the long-term remote learning period, the value of appropriate technology and the use of effective technology tools have become an integral component of successful AMI plans. Districts should consider technology that supports remote learning or AMI that aligns with the district continuity of learning and operations plan (district support plan); this should be technology that supports blended learning models and enables students to learn from home and for teachers to teach essential standards. Technology that supports connectivity or adaptation of educational content to synchronous or asynchronous learning would be an appropriate consideration. Internet connectivity purchases should be compliant with the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The use of ESSER funds for remote learning, which includes distance education as defined in ESEA section 8101 (14), so that students can continue learning during school closures should be considered a priority. Purchases such as on-site computer labs, smartboards, etc. do not align with the priorities of the CARES Act.
  •  SYSTEMIC PROCEDURES: Systemic procedures can be defined as actions or systems that the school district implements in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and for recovery efforts that contribute to the return to onsite instruction for students and staff.

Who is eligible to apply for ESSER Funds?

LEAs (districts and charter schools) that receive Title I funds. Please see the USED guidance on how to calculate ESSER funds at https://oese.ed.gov/files/2020/05/ESSER-Fund-Frequently-Asked-Questions.pdf.

What are the funding allocations for LEAs?

Allocations will be posted on the DESE website at http://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/divisions/fiscal-and-administrative-services/lea-federal-funding/allocations.

What is the timeline for ESSER funds?

LEAs must obligate ESSER funds by September 30, 2022.

What are allowable expenditures of ESSER funds?

Expenditures must be reasonable, necessary and allocable under section 18003(d) of Division B of the CARES Act. Funds should be used to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have on elementary and secondary public and participating non-public schools. Funds should address the district's continuity of learning and operations plan (district support plan). Funds should be utilized to prepare for remote learning, returning to onsite learning, and blended learning. Funds should address all teachers and students, including special populations and students most at-risk. CARES Act Section 18003 (d) outlines twelve (12) uses of funds. Those 12 uses of funds are included in the LEA application and assurances. COVID-19 related expenditures coded using the subject code CV that meet these guidelines may be paid from ESSER funds if expended on and after March 13, 2020.

What are the funding codes for ESSER funds?

The ESSER funding codes are available here.

What are the retention requirements for ESSER funds records?

Financial records, supporting (primary) documents, and all documentation of reasonable, necessary, and allocable must be retained for four (4) years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. 2 CFR § 200.333

What are unallowable expenditures of ESSER funds?

LEAs are not allowed to use funds to (1) subsidize or offset executive salaries and benefits of individuals who are not employees of the SEA or LEA; or (2) expenditures related to state or local teacher or faculty unions or associations.

LEA Application and Assurance for ESSER Funds

Eligible LEAs should complete the application and assurances document and upload into the ESSER folder in Indistar by May 29, 2020. The LEA Assurances and Application for CARES Act – ESSER Fund is available in Word or PDF.

Section 427 of GEPA - Required

Eligible LEAs should complete Section 427 of GEPA, available in Word, and upload into the ESSER Folder in Indistar by June 30, 2020. Guidance is available at https://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/gepa427.pdf.

Contact Information for ESSER Funds

Please send any questions to ade.esser@arkansas.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions submitted to ade.esser@arkansas.gov will be compiled into a FAQ document.

Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund

Congress set aside approximately $3 billion of the $30.75 billion allotted to the Education Stabilization Fund through the CARES Act for the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER I) Fund. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), was signed into law on December 27, 2020 and provides an additional $4,053,060,000 for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER II) Fund.  Additional information about the GEER fund is available at https://oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/governors-emergency-education-relief-fund/.

Emergency Assistance for Non-Public School (EANS) Program

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA Act) provides $2.75 billion for the Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) program, which is part of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.  Under the EANS program, the U.S. 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.  Learn more about EANS at https://oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/emergency-assistance-non-public-schools/

The State Education Agency (SEA) or Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) under Section 312(d) EANS will make up to $22,872,412 available to eligible Arkansas non-public schools.

Timeline for EANS Grant Awards:

EANS award approved and release to stateFebruary 12, 2021
Application opensMarch 11, 2021
Application closesMarch 29, 2021
All reimbursements and payments must be finalizedSeptember 30, 2023
Consultation with non-public schools regarding inventorySeptember 2023

 

Eligible Non-Public Schools: An eligible non-public school must meet the following criteria:
1. The school requesting services or assistance is a non-profit school.

2. The school requesting services or assistance existed and operated prior to March 13, 2020. 

3. The school requesting services or assistance is accredited, licensed, or otherwise approved to operate in accordance with State law.  A non-public school must be incorporated as per Ark. Code Ann. § 6-2-102.

4. The school requesting services or assistance did not and will not apply for and receive a loan under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) (15 U.S.C. 636(a)(37)) that is made on or after December 27, 2020. 

NOTE: If a non-public school applies for a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, but does not receive funds under the PPP, the school may apply for services or assistance under the EANS program, as long as the non-public school meets the requirements and deadlines of the application. If a non-public school applied for or received a PPP loan prior to December 27, 2020, it remains eligible for the EANS program. Similarly, if a non-public school applies for but does not receive services or assistance through EANS, nothing in the Education Stabilization Fund would preclude that non-public school from applying for and receiving a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020.

5. No expenses may be reimbursed through a loan guaranteed under the PPP (15 U.S.C. 636(a)) prior to December 27, 2020.

Timeline for submitting application: open March 11, 2021 through March 29, 2021 (at 11:59 pm).

Application: https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=ADESE

Application Deadline: March 29, 2021 (at 11:59 pm).

Allocations:

DESE will determine the list of eligible non-public schools and then post the allocations.  Allocations will be determined by the proportional share of the total funds available for eligible non-public schools. Priority will be given based on poverty data from the census and COVID-19 data from ACHI.  Allocations for EANS funds will be posted on a Commissioner’s Memo and on the DESE website at https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/Offices/fiscal-and-administrative-services/school-funding/emergency-assistance-for-non-public-schools-eans

Timeline for Funds: Reimbursement and payment with EANS funds must be completed by September 30, 2023.

Arkansas Administration of EANS Funds: It is managed using ClassWallet.

Arkansas ClassWallet Schools Login Webpagehttps://app.classwallet.com/login.

 

Please see the list of approved vendors (filter by state). State Contracts, Office of State Procurement: https://www.transform.ar.gov/procurement/vendors/state-contracts/%C2%A0

Tips for Vendors: https://www.tips-usa.com/allvendors.cfm

Uses of Funds:  (all costs must be reasonable, necessary and allowable) https://oese.ed.gov/files/2021/03/Final-EANS-FAQ-2.0-9.17.21.pdf
All services or assistance provided under EANS, including equipment, materials, and any other items, shall be secular, neutral, and non-ideological.  The Non-Public School understands that the control of funds provided and title to materials, equipment, and property purchased with such funds, shall be in the public agency (SEA), and the SEA shall administer such funds, materials, equipment, and property.  The SEA must gain title to materials, equipment, and property for which it provides reimbursement or payment.   At the end of the CCRSA funds (September 2023) the SEA will consult with the non-public school to determine if materials, equipment, and property shall remain in use at the non-public school or must be returned to the SEA.  This consultation may require additional documentation from the non-public school.

An eligible non-public school may apply to receive services or assistance from the SEA or its contractors to address educational disruptions resulting from COVID-19 for:
A.           Supplies to sanitize, disinfect, and clean school facilities
B.           Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
C.           Improving ventilation systems  (not available for reimbursement), including windows  (not available for reimbursement) or portable air purification systems
D.           Training and professional development for staff on sanitization, the use of PPE, and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases (not available for reimbursement)
E.           Physical barriers to facilitate social distancing
F.            Other materials, supplies or equipment recommended by the CDC for reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain health and safety
G.           Expanding capacity to administer coronavirus testing to effectively monitor and suppress the virus
H.           Educational technology
I.             Redeveloping instructional plans for remote or hybrid learning or to address learning loss  (not available for reimbursement)
J.            Leasing sites or spaces to ensure social distancing
K.           Reasonable transportation costs
L.            Initiating and maintaining education and support services or assistance for remote or hybrid learning or to address learning loss  (not available for reimbursement)
M.          Reimbursement for the expenses of any services or assistance described above that a non-public school incurred on or after March 13, 2020, except for:

  •  Improvements to ventilation systems (including windows), except for portable air purification systems, which may be reimbursed. 
  •  Staff training and professional development on sanitization, the use of PPE, and minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
  •  Developing instructional plans, including curriculum development, for remote or hybrid learning or to address learning loss.
  •   Initiating and maintaining education and support services or assistance for remote or hybrid learning or to address learning loss.
  •  Any expenses reimbursed through a loan guaranteed under the PPP (15 U.S.C. 636(a)) prior to December 27, 2020.

Reimbursement of services or assistance:

An eligible non-public school may request reimbursement of reasonable, necessary, and allowable expenditures with proper documentation. Proper documentation includes a detailed invoice or bill of sale and a copy of a cleared check or credit/debit card statement for the same amount of each reimbursable item/total.  Written justification may be required to ensure the expenditures align with the requirements listed below:

  • Supplies to sanitize, disinfect, and clean school facilities 
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Portable air purification systems
  • Physical barriers to facilitate social distancing
  • Other materials, supplies or equipment recommended by the CDC for reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain health and safety https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community/School-Admin-K12-readiness-and-planning-tool.pdf
  • Expanding capacity to administer coronavirus testing to effectively monitor and suppress the virus
  • Educational technology (including hardware, software, connectivity, assistive technology, or adaptive equipment)  Non-public schools will need to submit an inventory of educational technology including serial number or identification number, acquisition date, cost of property, location, and use and condition of the property. See sample format.
  • Leasing sites or spaces to ensure social distancing
  • Reasonable transportation costs

Requesting services or assistance (not available for reimbursement):

An eligible non-public school may request services or assistance. Please contact elizabeth.gomez@ade.arkansas.gov for consultation prior to submitting a request for the following services or assistance. DESE will require a work order including final delivery date prior to approval of services or assistance.  DESE will require documentation that any service or assistance has been received in full before payment is made to vendors.

  • Improving ventilation systems, including windows 
  • Training and professional development for staff on sanitization, the use of PPE, and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases 
    Redeveloping instructional plans for remote or hybrid learning or to address learning loss  
  • Initiating and maintaining education and support services or assistance for remote or hybrid learning or to address learning loss 

Management of Inventory:

The SEA is required to manage items purchased under EANS for non-public school use.  Please keep in mind that:

Non-public schools may use items purchased with EANS funds throughout the EANS period of performance (through September 30, 2023) or until the items are no longer needed as per 34 CFR § 76.661.

Equipment the SEA purchases for non-public school use under EANS should be managed and disposed of in accordance with state laws and procedures as per 2 CFR § 200.313(b).

Supplies the SEA purchases for non-public school use under EANS should be managed and disposed of in accordance with federal rules for supplies as per 2 CFR § 200.314.

DESE will consult with non-public schools (September 2023) to determine appropriate disposal of equipment and supplies.

Technical Assistance:

DESE will provide technical assistance to non-public schools through Commissioner's Memos, webinars, and upon request. General technical assistance will be posted on this webpage. Please send specific requests to elizabeth.gomez@ade.arkansas.gov

TopicDateSupporting Documents
EANS Webinar "Using ClassWallet for EANS Services and Assistance"April 21, 2021Presentation Slides, Webinar Recording
EANS WebinarMarch 12, 2021Presentation Slides, Webinar Recording
Planning Sheets for Eligible Non-Public SchoolsFebruary 18, 2021Planning Sheets
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)Updated as new questions are submitted.FAQs


MemoMemo TitleDate Posted
COM-21-094Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) Program Under the Coronavirus Resource and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA Act) and Webinar3/5/21
COM-21-040EANS Eligibility Amounts4/15/21
COM-21-119EANS Webinar April 21, 20214/19/21