Federal Stimulus FundingInformation on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) Act, and the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
New information and guidance will be added as it becomes available. If you would like to be notified when new information is available, please join the California Department of Education (CDE) U.S. Department of Education (ED) Relief Funds listserv by sending a blank email message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020.
This relief package provided states with both funding and streamlined waivers to give State educational agencies (SEAs) necessary flexibilities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief package includes $30.75 billion in emergency education funding.
The two main funding sources are the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER I) fund and the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER I) fund. The ESSER I fund accounts for approximately $13.2 billion of funding for all states, and California's allocation is $1,647,306,127. The GEER I fund accounts for approximately $3 billion of funding for all states, and California's allocation is $355,227,235. These funds provide local educational agencies (LEAs) with emergency relief funds to address the impact COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.
For more information on CARES Act funding, please visit the CDE CARES Act Funding web page.
In response to COVID-19 the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act which was enacted on December 27, 2020.
The two main funding sources are the ESSER II fund and the GEER II fund. The ESSER II fund accounts for approximately $54.3 billion of funding for all states, and California’s allocation is $6,709,633,866. The GEER II fund accounts for approximately $4.05 billion of funding for all states, and California’s allocation is $341,468,793. Within the GEER II fund, there is the set-aside for non-public schools, the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS), which accounts for $2.75 billion for all states and California's allocation is $187,475,843. These funds will provide LEAs with emergency relief funds to address the impact COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.
For more information on CRRSA Act funding, please visit the CDE CRRSA Act Funding web page.
In response to COVID-19, the U.S. Congress passed American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021. This federal stimulus funding is the third act of federal relief in response to COVID-19, following the CARES Act signed into law on March 27, 2020, and the CRRSA Act signed into law on December 27, 2020.
The ESSER III fund accounts for approximately $122 billion of funding for all states, and California’s allocation is $15,079,696,097. The ARP Act also included a special set-aside for non-public schools, EANS II, which provided $181,312,003 for California’s non-public schools to provide emergency assistance to students and teachers. The ARP Act also established a second set-aside for homeless children and youth (HCY), which accounts for $98,757,695 of California’s ARP Act allocations. These funds will provide eligible LEAs and non-public schools with emergency relief funds to address the impact COVID-19 has had, and continues to have.
For more information on ARP Act funding, please visit the CDE ARP Act Funding web page.
The following reporting information is specific to the following federal stimulus funds: Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) (3220), ESSER I (3210), GEER I (3215), General Fund (GF) (7420), ESSER II (3212), and ESSER III (3213 and 3214). For information regarding the In-Person Instruction (IPI) Grant or the Expanded Learning Opportunities Grant (ELO-G), please visit the COVID-19 Relief and School Reopening Grants web page. For information regarding the ARP Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) Fund, please visit the Homeless Education web page.
Following each reporting window, new apportionments will be calculated for ESSER I, ESSER II, and ESSER III. LEAs that report expenditures, have signed legal assurances, and have a balance due based on cash management requirements will receive an apportionment. For more information on the reporting periods and deadlines, please visit the CDE Federal Stimulus Reporting web page.
The federal standards found in the CARES Act, CRRSA Act, and ARP Act indicate that the ESSER funds and the GEER funds be subject to the Uniform Grants Guidance program management regulations. Those regulations contain a requirement that capital expenditures for general purpose equipment, buildings and land, including material improvements thereto, are allowable as direct costs only with prior written approval of the federal awarding agency or pass-through entity, as found in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in section 200.439(a). Similarly, special purpose equipment are allowable as direct costs, provided that items with a unit cost of $5,000 or more have prior written approval as found in 2 CFR 200.439.
To request prior written approval to use ESSER and GEER funds toward a capital expenditure, please submit the completed Capital Expenditures Pre-Approval Application Form, along with any additional documentation, to the CDE Federal Stimulus Team at EDReliefFunds@cde.ca.gov.
All LEAs must be able to demonstrate compliance with all federal and state procurement requirements during monitoring reviews and audits. State procurement requirements can be found in the California Public Contract Code, sections 20100–22178. Federal procurement requirements can be found in 2 CFR 200.317–327.
For construction projects, LEAs must follow applicable federal construction regulations, such as safety and health standards (34 CFR 75.609), energy conservation (34 CFR 75.616), and Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rules. Any LEA requesting pre-approval must provide documentation showing that the LEA is not able to meet the need arising from the health emergency in a more cost-effective or efficient manner, such as leasing property or improving property already owned and in use.
This pre-approval is not required for CRF expenditures, or the GF. However, please note that Treasury Guidance (PDF) issued January 15, 2021, states that, generally, capital improvement projects are not allowed with the CRF.
For capital expenditures using ESSER III funds, the CDE encourages LEAs to be mindful of their federally-required ESSER III Expenditure Plans that were required to be initially submitted by October 29, 2021. These plans require LEAs to engage in meaningful consultation with community partners and require that LEAs provide opportunity for public input and take such input into account. If the project is not already included in the LEA's ESSER III Expenditure Plan, the LEA may wish to delay the start of the project until the LEA revises the plan in partnership with the community and governing board. For more information on the federally-required plans under ESSER III, please visit the CDE ARP Act Funding web page and the CDE ESSER III Expenditure Plan FAQs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Additionally, the CARES Act provided for Secretarial waiver authority, under which ED can waive certain provisions due to the COVID-19 emergency.
A streamlined waiver process has been made available through the CARES Act and ED. Both the Assessment and Accountability Waiver as well as the Funding Flexibility Waiver have been approved by ED and ratified by the California State Board of Education.
For more information on these waivers, please visit the CDE’s ESSA web page.