The Department of Education Issues FAQ Regarding COVID Relief Funding

The U.S. Department of Education has released a guide regarding funding under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Programs, Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Programs.

Under GEER, established in the CARES Act, the Department awarded grants to Governors for the purpose of providing LEAs, institutions of higher education (IHEs), and other education-related entities with emergency support as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  GEER funds for a local educational agency (LEA) are intended to support its ability to continue to provide educational services to its students and to support the ongoing functionality of the LEA.

According to the Department of Education, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are intended to clarify allowable uses of funds and describe how these funds may be used to implement actionable strategies to meet the urgent needs of students and educators as LEAs and schools work to return to and safely sustain in-person instruction, address the educational inequities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and address students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs.

The Department encourages States and LEAs to use the funds described in this document to safely reopen schools, maximize in-person instructional time for all students, and provide opportunities to address the impacts of lost instructional time resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The DOE also encourages LEAs to take into consideration how the funds can be used to address inequities, including focusing supports and services on students from low income families, students of color, students with disabilities, English learners, students experiencing homelessness, children and youth in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

View the full Frequently Asked Questions.

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