Adam Hartman, superintendent of the Cañon City School District, wanted to provide financial transparency so everyone in his small community could find out how the district was spending the $331,335 it received in federal pandemic Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding.
More than 9,800 teachers had their projects approved in the second round of funding of the DonorsChoose campaign that only lasted three days.
On Thursday, Sept. 21, Gov. Jared Polis announced his office would contribute $6.7 million from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief fund to the DonorsChoose program, which provided $1,000 to teachers for classroom supplies and resources to improve students’ learning experiences. The Colorado Department of Education contributed an additional $440,000 to the second round of funding.
Poudre School District in Fort Collins spent $100,000 from an Education Workforce Grant to diversify its workforce while at the same time attempting to fill more open positions than the district had in pre-pandemic years.
The majority of the grant paid for a full-time bilingual recruiter with the rest allowing the district to implement an intentional recruitment strategy to increase the number of teachers, which didn’t used to be a problem for the district before the pandemic.
The Colorado Department of Education is using $125,000 in ESSER funding to pay for a summer learning series for teachers called CoLabs that will be offered in June in Grand Junction, Greeley and Pueblo.
Mesa County Valley 51 School District, which comprises the Grand Junction area, is using ESSER funding to develop a robust teacher mentoring program that includes a curriculum-based professional learning framework to help out its new teachers.
The U.S. government provided states $2 trillion from the Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief funds to help school districts recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
CDE has created an interactive graphic that allows the user to see the common uses of ESSER funds, including ESSER I-3. CDE will be adding different features on its webpage to help provide an easier understanding of how ESSER money has been used in Colorado.