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Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER)
About GEER I
The CARES Act included $3 billion for a Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. Colorado was allocated more than $44 million from the GEER fund. GEER funds are flexible and are able to be used at the discretion of governors. GEER funds can be used to provide emergency support through:
- grants to local educational agencies;
- institutions of higher education;
- other education-related entities deemed essential for carrying out emergency education services;
- any purpose under most federal education legislation; or
- the provision of child care and early childhood education, social and emotional support and the protection of education-related jobs.
In June, 2020, Gov. Polis announced plans for GEER funds:
Nearly $33 million in grants to school districts, public schools, public institutions of higher education, and other education-related entities to support equity and innovation to address the COVID-19 crisis. The grant program called the Response, Innovation, and Student Equity (RISE) Education Fund will be accepting applications this fall.
$5-6 million for dramatically increasing capacity for Colorado Empowered Learning.
$3 million investment in educator recruitment and retention to provide stability for school districts through the Quality Teacher Recruitment program.
About GEER II
Including: Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS)
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 added $4.05 billion for the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. From the additional GEER funds, called GEER II, Colorado will receive $47,865,504.
GEER II included $2.75 billion for emergency assistance to nonpublic schools through the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) grants of which $28,433,931 has been allocated to Colorado. Under this provision, the state education agency (SEA) will administer the funds. Nonpublic schools can apply for these funds for “secular, neutral, and non ideological” services and assistance, including sanitization, personal protective equipment, COVID testing, educational technology, and connectivity. SEAs are required to prioritize services or assistance to nonpublic schools that enroll low-income students and are most impacted by the qualifying emergency.