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About the CARES Act
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020 providing $2.2 trillion in emergency funding. The CARES Act included $30.75 billion in the Education Stabilization Funding. Approximately 98% of these funds will be disbursed through three mechanisms:
- Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund = $13.23 billion
- Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund = $2.95 billion
- Higher Education Emergency Relief fund = $13.95 billion
Funding for State and Local Educational Agencies
The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) has initiated the process to grant funds to states for the ESSER Fund. The funding is allocated to state educational agencies (SEAs) to provide local educational agencies (LEAs) emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on schools across the nation.
ESSER funds will be allocated to LEAs based on the proportion of Title I, Part A funds the LEA received in the most recent fiscal year.
States must allocate 90% of its ESSER funds to LEAs and may keep 10% for state level activities, including no more than 0.5% for administrative purposes.
Colorado's ESSER Funding
Colorado has been allocated $120,993,782 from the USDOE from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.
Of the total allocation to Colorado, CDE must allocate a minimum of $108,894,404 to local education agencies (LEAs) and may reserve no more than $12,099,378.
Of the state reserve, CDE may use no more than $604,969 for administrative purposes. The 10% SEA reserve is to be used for emergency needs as determined by the SEA to address issues related to COVID-19, which may be addressed through the use of grants or contracts.
ESSER Application for Funds
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Application for Funds is now available.
Colorado's GEER Funding
In addition to the ESSER funds, Colorado has been notified that we will receive $44,004,996 from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund component of the Education Stabilization Fund. These dollars are quite flexible and will be used at the discretion of the governors to provide:
- Emergency support through grants to the LEAs that the state educational agency (SEA) deems to have been most significantly impacted by COVID-19
- Emergency support through grants to institutions of higher education (IHEs) serving students within the State that the Governor determines have been most significantly impacted by COVID-19
- Support to any other IHE, LEA, or education-related entity within the State that the Governor deems essential for carrying out emergency educational services to students, the provision of childcare and early childhood education, social and emotional support, and the protection of education-related jobs.