CARES Act FundingInformation on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and associated funds and waivers, including the Elementary and Secondary School Relief (ESSER) fund and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund.
In response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) the U.S. Congress passed the 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 Fund (ESSER Fund), which accounts for approximately $13.2 billion, and the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER Fund), which accounts for approximately $3 billion. This funding will 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.
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) CARES Act listserv by sending a blank email message to email@example.com.
CARES Act Funding Workshop Available!
- Two-series workshop on federal education programs for programmatic and business administrators in LEAs/Charters
- October 15th & October 22nd, 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM
- Description and registration information: Federal Education Programs Workshop (DOCX)
State awards for the ESSER Fund are in the same proportion that each state received under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year (FY) 2019–20. Each state must use no less than 90 percent of its allocation ($1,482,575,514) to make subgrants to LEAs, based on each LEA’s share of funds received under Title I, Part A in fiscal year 2019–20.
CARES Act ESSER Funding
Includes LEA application for funds, use of funds, and preliminary allocations.
The Learning Loss Mitigation Funding (LLMF), authorized by the 2020–21 budget package, appropriates $5,334,997,000 from three different funding sources to be allocated to local educational agencies (LEAs) in order to support pupil academic achievement and mitigate learning loss related to COVID-19 school closures.
LLMF Web Page
Includes LEA application for funds, funding sources, and use of funds.
The federal requirements found in the CARES Act require that the ESSER Fund and the GEER Fund be subject to the Uniform Grants Guidance. Those regulations contain a requirement that capital expenditures for special purpose equipment are allowable as direct costs, provided that items with a unit cost of $5,000 or more have the prior written approval as found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in 2 CRF 200.439.
Any capital expenditure that requires remodeling or renovation will not be approved.
This pre-approval is not required for Coronavirus Relief (CR) Funds or the General Fund (GF).
Additionally, the CARES Act also provided for Secretarial waiver authority, under which the U.S. Department of Education (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.