You are here

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER)


In March 2020, the CARES Act established the Education Stabilization Fund, which initially provided $13.23 billion to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) I Fund. ESSER I Fund dollars were appropriated to states based on the 2019-20 Title I shares with 90% allocated to local education agencies (LEAs) that received a Title I allocation in the most recent fiscal year and the remaining 10% for a state reserve fund. Colorado was allocated $120,993,782 from the U.S. Department of Education from the ESSER I Fund.


In December 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act added $82 billion in funding for the Education Stabilization Fund including $54.3 billion for the ESSER Fund. This tranche of funding is called ESSER II. ESSER II funds will be distributed according to the same process as the original ESSER funds with 90% flowing to local education agencies based on the Title I formula and 10% reserved for state set-aside activities. Like the original ESSER dollars, only 0.5% of the total state award may be used for administration activities. Colorado has been allocated $519,324,311 to the ESSER II fund.


In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act added $123 billion to the Elementary and Secondary Education Relief (ESSER) fund in emergency pandemic relief aid for K-12 schools nationally. Colorado will receive almost $1.17 billion under the new legislation and, like the previous recovery bills, 90% of the funding will flow to districts through the Title I formula with 10% set aside for state-level priorities. ESSER III has a heavy emphasis on addressing the learning impacts of COVID-19 by requiring local education agencies to use at least 20% of funding for this purpose including interventions, summer programming, and after-school opportunities. Colorado has been allocated $1,166,328,632 in ESSER III funding.

About ESSER Public Data Reports

Each state that receives ESSER funding under the ARP Act must publicly post and regularly update data on how students are learning (i.e., mode of instruction), including for student groups that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ESSER Public Data Reports page provides an overview of the enrollment and attendance of Colorado schools by mode of instruction (i.e., in-person, online, or hybrid).