The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) I grant program is authorized in Title VIII, Division B, of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law in March 2020. ESSER I Federal grant funds were allocated to Fredericksburg ISD, on March 13, 2020, in the amount of $465,852. The intent and purpose of the CARES Act education funding is to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus. In a TEA training on August 10, 2020 (minute 15:40), it was made clear that districts could expect that ESSER I funds would be needed to offset anticipated reductions in local funds (foundation school program). Because of this, the district, like most across Texas, did not have supplemental funding; instead, the ESSER I funds were used to carry out regular operating costs. 


    The ESSER II grant program was authorized in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA), signed into law in December 2020.  FISD was allocated $1,924,636. Although Federal, once again, the funding source does not follow the supplement not supplant rule. In an FAQ, released by TEA (page 42, question 4) regarding attendance and enrollment, it was explained that, “TEA will reduce total Refined ADA in an amount necessary to ensure each LEA receives total state and ESSER II funding equal to the amount that would have been available through the FSP while receiving the benefit of the hold harmless provided by the State.” In short, this means that districts should anticipate ESSER II funds to offset another year of reduced local funding.  


    The American Rescue Plan Act, passed on March 11, 2021, provided $122.7 billion in supplemental ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funding, known as the ESSER III Fund. The intent and purpose of the funding is to help safely reopen and sustain safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on students. Fredericksburg ISD was allocated a total of $4,322,460 in ESSER III funds. Districts receive the funding in two allocations: an initial two-thirds allocation, and a remaining one-third allocation. As required of the grant, school districts must expend a minimum of 20% of the grant fund on evidence-based interventions; and, ensure interventions respond to students’ academic, social and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on certain students’ populations.  

    Per grant guidelines, prior to the submission of a use of funds plan to TEA, Fredericksburg ISD held a public meeting on June 14 to present information on the ESSER II & III Funds and collect feedback from stakeholders on how to use these funds to support students heading into the 2021-22 school year. Presentation material can be found here.

     Allowable uses of ESSER III funds include:

    • Addressing the Needs of Special Populations
    • Other Education Services During Closure
    • Mental Health Services
    • Summer Learning
    • After-school Programs
    • Address Learning Loss with Assessments*
    • Address Learning Loss with Evidence-Based Activities*
    • Address Learning Loss with Parent/Family Support*
    • Address Learning Loss Tracking/Engaging Students*
    • Continue to employ existing staff
    • Other Operational Activities
    • Improve Indoor Air Quality (window/door repair/replace, filter/purity, fans, controls, heating, ventilation, A/C)
    • Facility Repair to Reduce Virus Spread and Support Health
    • Educational Technology
    • Providing IDEA Services During Closure
    • Online Learning
    • Activities During Long-Term Closures
    • Purchase Supplies to Sanitize/Clean
    • Training on Infectious Disease
    • Improve Response Procedures
    • Coordinate COVID-19 Health Response
    • Carl Perkins CTE Act
    • Adult Education and Family Literacy
    • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) - Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV 

    *Minimum of 20% of total ESSER III funds to address learning loss  

    Based on an ongoing, comprehensive needs assessment, release of student achievement data, finalization of previous year budgets and anticipated reductions in next year’s local funding, the following proposed uses of funding were prioritized:

     Prioritized Use of Funding 

    • Employee Retention
    • Summer Learning
    • Educational Technology
    • Intervention Materials
    • Behavior Support

    Side-by-Side Review of ESSER I/II/III Funds

    A side-by-side review of all three types of ESSER funds, can be found here.  


Last Modified on August 23, 2021