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Funding Sources and Policy Considerations
Implementing new instructional supports and routines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may pose challenges with budgets and existing policies. The influx of federal education relief funding can provide districts and schools with necessary resources to respond to and recover from the effects of the pandemic on learning and wellbeing of staff and students. District and school leaders will continue to need to consider and adjust local policies, protocols, or practices in response to the pandemic for the 2021-22 school year and beyond based on local needs.
The purpose of this section of the toolkit is to provide district and school leaders with information on available funding and policy considerations to support local response efforts.
A number of new and existing funds are available to support implementation which are summarized in a Funding Matrix Quick Reference Table. A summary of the Funds Matrix Quick Reference Table is provided below.
These federal education relief funds (CARES ESSER I, CRSSA ESSER II, and ARP ESSER III Acts) provide a significant source of funding for school districts. Colorado has been allocated nearly two billion dollars in ESSER Funds from the three stimulus packages from the federal government. At least 90% of funding will go to LEAs based on Title I shares.
LEAs may use funds for implementation activities that are a part of the LEA’s response to, preparation for, or prevention of the spread of COVID-19, are reasonable, and one of the following allowable activities:
- Any activity authorized under ESEA, IDEA, Perkins, or McKinney-Vento (only ESSER I and II), and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act
- Other activities to help with the response to COVID-19, including preparedness and response efforts, sanitation, professional development pertaining to responding to COVID-19, remote learning, addressing the impact of COVID-19 on learning, and others.
Applications for funds can be found in the following links:
- CARES ESSER I Application: Applications were due on December 20, 2020 and are now open for revisions through the Post Award Revision Process, until June 30, 2021.
- CRSSA ESSER II Application: Application is open until September 30, 2021 and applications are reviewed as they are received by CDE.
- ARP ESSER III Application: Application is now open! Acceptance and Transmittal Forms, Assurances, a GEPA Statement must be submitted by May 23, 2021 to receive award. LEAs will have 90-days thereafter to develop plans for the use of funds.
- Due Dates and Timelines for ESSER Funds (I, II, and III)
- Chiefs for Change created a ESSER workbook to help districts streamline the planning of their ESSER funds. The workbook may be found here: Chiefs for Change ESSER Planning Workbook v1.0 - Google Sheets.
- To make a copy for district use, a district can access that option here: Chiefs for Change ESSER Planning Workbook v1.0 - Make a copy (google.com)
Approximately $150 million dollars in federal funds are allocated to districts each year to improve academic outcomes for all students and close achievement gaps.
- Title I, Part A funds can be used to supplement the implementation activities provided to students in Title I schoolwide programs or eligible students in Title I targeted assistance programs.
- Title I, Part C can be used to supplement the implementation activities provided to migrant students.
- Title I, Part D can be used to supplement the implementation activities provided to students in Delinquent or Neglect Facilities.
- Title II, Part A can be used to provide training and professional development for educators implementing activities from the Learning Toolkit.
- Title III, Part A can be used to provide activities that supplement English language development (ELD) programs, engage families of ELs, provide professional learning for educators to meet the academic needs of ELs, and provide additional supports and opportunities for EL students.
- Title III, Immigrant Set-Aside can be used to supplement the implementation activities to support immigrant students.
- Title IV, Part A can be used to support implementation activities that provide all students with access to a well-rounded education, improve school conditions for student learning, and improve the use of technology.
- Title V can be used by rural and small districts to support any activities authorized under the ESEA
Other Funding Sources
- Gifted and Talented funds can be used for implementation of specific activities to support Gifted and Talented students.
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds can be used for implementation of specific activities to support students with disabilities required by the students’ Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
- English Language Proficiency Act (ELPA) funds must be used to provide or enhance ELD programs, provide academic and linguistic support to ELs, and provide support to educators instructing ELs.
- READ Act funds can be used for implementation of specific reading activities in support of K-3 students and students with a Significant Reading Deficiency (SRD).
Resources to Support Decision Making
- Leveraging Funds for Student Success Guidance
- CARES Act Overview page with each funding stream and FAQ linked
- This site provides a continuum of the CARES Act Education funding including information on Nutrition funding, ESSERF Fund, and GEER with an additional link to FAQ.
- CARES Act Expenditure Types vs Funding Sources
- This contains comprehensive guidance as well as FAQs about allowable expenditure types with topics ranging from technology to professional development.
- Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund
- The GEER fund provides $44 million for P-12 and higher education in Colorado. On June 4th the Governor announced his plans for the funds.
As COVID-19 continues to affect all areas of education in Colorado, CDE is shifting policies and requirements and providing resources to guide districts, schools, parents and others. This page will continue to be updated with the most current guidance on the topics below. Additional areas will be added as guidance is needed.
COVID-19 Policy Guidance webpage includes current policy and guidance for many areas.