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ESSER State Reserve Fund

21st Century Community Learning Centers

(Note: Application Closed)

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) competitive grant program is authorized under Title IV, Part B, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. The purpose of this important program is to to establish or expand community learning centers that provide opportunities for academic enrichment, offer students a broad array of additional services, programs, and activities and offer families of students served by community learning centers opportunities for active and meaningful engagement in their children’s education, including opportunities for literacy and related educational development.

Curricula & Instructional Programming

(Note: Application Closed)

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is creating a grant program that will support districts in purchasing such K-8 mathematics curricula and K-3 READ Act-approved instructional programs so as to ensure that Colorado students and schools—particularly those most impacted by the pandemic—are able to accelerate the completion of lost or unfinished learning and emerge from the pandemic stronger than before. This program will be funded through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER reserve) funds.

Education Workforce Program

(Note: Application closed)

As part of these recovery efforts, it is critical for schools and districts to have a strong, talented education workforce to provide safe, in-person learning and address the social, emotional, mental health, and academic impact of the pandemic. This includes ensuring educators, leaders, and support staff are in place and supported as they offer programs to provide in-person learning, address learning loss, complete unfinished learning, and meet the COVID-related needs of Colorado students.

For this reason, the Colorado Department of Education is creating an Education Workforce Program to ensure LEAs have the capacity to meet the need for recruiting, retaining, and supporting the educator workforce. This program will be funded through the American Rescue Plan's Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER III) funds.

ESSER Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Grant Program

(Note: Application Closed)

The ESSER Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Grant program will support districts and community-based organizations (CBOs) in creating new or expanding existing expanded learning opportunities (ELOs) that address students’ academic and personal needs, ensure families can continue to engage in and support their students’ learning, and ultimately continue to strengthen schools and communities during COVID-19 recovery.This program will be funded under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) state reserve.

ESSER Transportation Assistance Grant (ETAG) Program

(Note: Application Closed)

The ESSER Transportation Assistance Grant (ETAG) Program will support students attending low-performing schools in chronically low-performing districts (see Eligibility List) so that they may accessing high-quality learning at a higher-performing school through transportation funding. This program will be funded under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) state reserve. Approximately $3,000,000 is available for this program with $1,500,000 available in the 2022-2023 fiscal year and $1,500,000 available in the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

High-Impact Tutoring Program

(Note: Application Closed)

Significant interruptions to in-person learning due to the covid-19 pandemic have led to potentially devastating and long-lasting negative impacts on student achievement, impacting every part of Colorado society. These negative impacts on student achievement are not equal; students furthest from privilege are at risk of falling behind the most. Research suggests that while all students may fall behind as much as seven months because of interruptions to in-person learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students who identify as Black, Latino, or lower income may fall behind as much as ten months, exacerbating already entrenched inequities. Responding to learning loss and the widening of opportunity gaps could be the greatest challenge our state faces over the next few years, and the state has an urgent and immediate need to provide additional support to ensure students are well prepared for the future. As such, the Colorado legislature passed House Bill 21-1234 (PDF) creating the Colorado High-Impact Tutoring Program which was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis on June 16, 2021.

Learning and Transparency Technical Assistance Program

(Note: Application closed)

These funds are a once in a generation opportunity for Colorado’s districts to not only recover from the problems caused and exacerbated by the pandemic but also, through the acceleration of learning, emerge from the global health crisis stronger than ever. As part of these recovery efforts, it is critical for schools and districts to offer their families and communities transparency into the COVID relief funding made available to them, how the funds were used, the programs available for students and how to access them and the impacts of those programs in achieving the goals in addressing learning loss, completing unfinished learning and meeting the COVID-related needs of their students. CDE created this program to ensure LEAs have the capacity to meet this need for transparency with their families and communities.

Mentor Grant Program

(Note: Application closed)

The Mentor Grant Program provides opportunities for districts to build, enhance, and strengthen mentoring programs to ensure beginning teachers have necessary support to build instructional capacity and effectiveness in the classroom by deepening mentoring programs at the local level. Grantees will improve pre-service mentoring programs for student teachers/clinical residencies and new to the profession (probationary) teachers in their first 3 years of teaching and broadening the skills of mentor teachers.

Rural Coaction Program

(Note: Application closed)

Rural districts, BOCES, and other local education providers (LEPs) provide students in their communities with high-quality learning experiences each and every day. To expand student pathway opportunities and career-connected learning, partnerships among and across districts and BOCES can be very valuable. Collaborative action (also referred here as coaction) allows districts and BOCES to work together in partnership to increase opportunities for students across their regions. As such, CDE is launching the Rural Coaction Program to seed the creation of new and further the development of existing partnerships and pathways for learning in our rural communities. This program will be funded through the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER III) state reserve funds.

Rural Program Development

(Note: Applications due by Friday, September 30, 2022 at 11:59 pm MDT)

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is creating a grant program that will support rural districts in developing programs that strengthen student engagement. Through this ESSER Rural Program Development Grant, rural districts submitting a brief application will receive funding to support the development of a wide range of programs to support re-engaging and strengthening student engagement–particularly for those students most impacted by the pandemic. This program will be funded through the  Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) state reserve funds.


ESSER Engagement Update

Thank you to everyone who participated in the ESSER engagement survey and public meetings. CDE and the State Board of Education have incorporated your feedback into our State Plan. Learn more on the ESSER Engagement page.